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Full text of "Needles and pins. A comedy of the present, in four acts"

PS1A99 MLY, Augustin 
D38N4 Needles and Pins 



JN VERSITY OF CA RIV RS DE LIBRARY 



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NEEDLES AND PINS 



A COMEDY OF THE PRESENT, 



IN FOUR ACTS. 



(Frotn the German of Rosen.'] 



AUGUSTIN DALY. 



AS ACTED AT DALY'S THEATRE FOR THE FIRST TIME, 
NOVEMBER 9TH, 1880. 



r 



NEW YORK: 
PRINTED AS MANUSCRIPT ONLY, FOR THE AUTHOR. 

1884. 






NEEDLES AND PINS. 



A COMEDY OF THE PRESENT, 



IN FOUR ACTS. 



(Front, the German of Rosen.) 



BY 



AUGUSTIN DALY. 



AS ACTED AT DALY'S THEATRE FOR THE FIRST TIME, 
NOVEMBER OTH, 1880. 



NEW YORK: 
PRINTED AS MANUSCRIPT ONLY, FOR THE AUTHOR. 

1884. 



PS I 



COPYRIGHT, 1880, BY AUQUSTIN DALY. 



DRAMATIS PERSONS AND ORIGINAL CAST. 



ME. NICHOLAS GEAGLE (an elderly party in search of the 
antique and curious in art, comes across a bit of Nature's 
own bric-a-brac, and learns the true reading of an Old 
Nursery Riddle) MR. JAMES LEWIS 

ME. CHRISTOPHER VANDUSEN (a Retired Merchant^ 
formerly in " Corks," now in anything but Lavender, who 
cherishes a youthful memory and finds he has been nurs 
ing a poetic serpent with an unpoetic sting), 

MR. CHARLES FISHER 

KIT VANDUSEN (The dutiful son of the before-mentioned 
Christopher, with his own little secret romance and its 
corresponding consequences) MR. JOHN BRAND 

TOM VERSUS (A spry young Attorney who, not unlike some of 
his elder brethren of the bar, makes a muddle for his soli 
tary client, while he feathers his own nest) . . MR. JOHN DREW 

SERGEANT MACDONALD, of the 99th Precinct, temporarily 

assigned for duty at the Triton Masquerade . . . MR. ROBERTS 

JONAH, the superannuated clerk and copyist at Versus' MR. E. P. WILKS 

BLOT, waiter at the Triton Masque MR. BEEKMAN 

BOX, the porter MR. LAWRENCE 

ALSO 

MRS. VANDUSEN (the home partner of the retired Cork Mer 
chant full of business in her own sphere and in fact an 
entire paper of Needles and Pins in her own person), 

Miss FANNY MORANT 

MISS DOSIE HEFFRON (a giddy young thing of (date 

missing), who proves to be an unexpected heart breaker 
and an unsuspected syren in unexplored spheres), 

MRS. G. H. GILBERT 

SILENA VANDUSEN (her niece, a thorn in her aunt's side, 

though a rosebud in everybody else's sight) . Miss ADA REHAN 

MISS MARY FORREST (her first appearance this season. A 
young lady recently come into a fortune; with highly 
romantic ideas as to its disposal) .... Miss MAY FIELDING 

CAROLINE (a maid servant of the period, and a solemn warning 

to all future Eras) Miss MAGGIE HAROLD 

HANNAH, another Miss LEVERE 

CHARACTERS IN THE MASQUE AND NURSERY COTILLON. 

Lahdedah Miss Evesson. Gypsy Miss Shandley. 

Oaptainjenks . . . Miss Kirkland. The Frog Mr. Sterling. 

Fanchette Miss McNeil. Januario Mr. Bennett. 

Gretchen .... Mit-s Donaldson. Tommydodd .... Miss Vinton. 

Red Riding Hood . . Miss Flagg. The Royal Middy . Miss Weaver. 

Humpty Dumpty . . . Mr. Wilks. Aladdin Miss Trevalyan. 

Robinson Crusoe . . Mr. Lawrence. Little Bopeep . . . Miss Hinckley. 

Champagnecharly - Miss Maxwell. Mother Goose . . . Miss Brooks. 

The Four Dominoes in Black, by Puss in Boots . . Mr. Macdonough. 

Miss Vaughan, Miss Williams, Bluebeard Mr. Hewitt. 

Miss Howard, Miss Featherstone. 

Mephistopheles Mile. Malvina 

(Under whose directions the dances are given.) 



4 SYNOPSIS OF SCENERY. 

FIRST ACT. 

SCENE: The Home of the Vandusens! (By Roberts.) A suburban 
house to which the retired Cork-merchant has flown for a Quiet which he 
does not find. Twenty-five years of the Needles and Pins of Wedlock do 
not deter two or three more couples from venturing. Three Silenas make 
their appearance to disturb the calm: and the fate of the Whisperer is 
settled. 



SECOND ACT. 

SCENE: The Law Office of Mr. Tom Versus in this City. In which the 
romantic young million-heiress engages her heart, loses her head, and puts 
her foot in it. The three Silenas turn up in unexpected force to the con 
fusion of several people. A Lesson in Dancing. 



THIRD ACT. 

SCENE: The Hippodrome Summer Garden decorated for the "Triton" 
Masquerade. (By Mr. James Roberts.) Needles and Pins make them 
selves felt in more bosoms than one : and a Domino Riddle which puzzles 
the players, places one of them at the mercy of the police. The disastrous 
results of an exchange of roses and of a sip of spiced Jamaica. One of the 
Silenas is unmasked and another of them unmasks herself, while the Bric- 
a-Brac hunter is bereft of his prize. Look up ! ! 

(Incidental to this act will be a duet by Miss Fielding and Mr. Brand 
and a Chorus and Cotillon of Nursery Rhymes by all the characters.) 



FOURTH ACT. 

Returns to the Vandusen Mansion and develops sundry headaches and 
heartaches, after the dissipation and disappointments of the previous even 
ing. A Honeymoon to the Ubjibbelooloo ! A new Chinese Puzzle is put 
together, and the final Silena is quieted at last, while the fable comes to end 
with a novel rendering of an olo. Khyme. 



ACT I. 

SCENE 1. Parlor in pleasant country house near New York. 

Substantial furniture. Door of entrance c. Door R. to Mrs. 

Vandusen's room, and door L. to Mr. Vandusen's. Mantel 

and fire-place R. 2 E. Arm-chairs and sofa L. Window L. 2 

E. Small table, with vase, books, etc. 
TIME. Winter. Morning. ( Winter landscape.'} Music. 

CAROLINE enters, L. c., with a broom and a bundle of newspapers. 
Puts newspapers on table. 

Caroline. Lor' ! how is it one can be up all night dancing 
and never feel a bit tired, while a day's work does fatigue one s6 ? 
What a goloptious time I did have at that ball last night. It 
was the most genteel ball of the season, it was. I just remember 
one of 'em: Him. "I don't know you to talk to, Miss, but I 
guess you're Caroline Smith, aren't you ?" Me. " I guess I am." 
Him. "My sister knew a girl named Caroline. May I dance 
the next raquette with you ?" Me. " I guess you may." Oh ! 
it was like a dream. One, two, three and a kick, two and a 
kick, etc. [Dances raquette waltz with broom for partner and off c.] 

SIL.ENA VANDUSEN enters, L. D., cautiously. 

Silena. I wonder if my letter's there yet. [Steals to table and 
takes a letter from vase.~\ Yes, ma didn't discover it. [Looks at it.~\ 
Its from Gussie at school. She's a happy girl. No mother to 
find fault and no horrid old aunt to worry. And yet ma don't 
want me to correspond with her ! Because it will make me dis 
satisfied ! So she hunts for letters everywhere. Last night, when 
I was in bed, she came in to change my pillow, just to see if. I 
had anything hidden under it. What will happen when I do 
have a real correspondence which she mustn't see. For she 
thinks I'm nothing but a child, and keeps me four hours a day 
at the piano, and aunt says I'm a mere chit and ought to wear 
short skirts. It's just because she's an old maid and wants to 
keep young herself. Now I know I am not a child. I am a 
young person who ought by rights to dress, go out, shop, make 
calls and receive attentions. [About to open letter, goes to L. looks 
off. Conceals it and goes to poke fire, R.] 



6 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

MRS. VANDUSEN enters, L. D., in morning costume. A woman of 
forty-Jive, resolute and prompt. 

Mrs. Vandusen. What are you doing there ? [To Sil] 

Sil. [Embarrassed, and rattling the poker between the bars.] 
Fixing the fire, ma. 

Mrs. V. Its quite warm enough look at the thermometer. 

Sil. [ Goes to wall, R. c.] Why, it's only seventy. 

Mrs. V. [Scrutinizing her.'] Only seventy! That's hardly 
high enough to account for the color of your face. Your cheeks 
are as red as if you had been found out in something wrong. 

Sil. Well, ma, if only a pale face is consistent with a 
clear conscience, that accounts for Aunt Dosie powdering so 
much. She'd be turkey-red if she didn't. 

Mrs. V. Children shouldn't observe so much, especially 
what their elders happen to be doing. Go and call your father. 
[Crosses to R.] 

Sil. I don't believe pa's up yet. 

Mrs. V. I saw him in the garden at the flowers. Go and 
do as I tell you. [Haughtily.'] 

Sil. [Affected meekness.] Yes, ma, I will go and bring 
him to your feet. [Exits, laughing, c. R.] 

Mrs. V. That girl is going to give me a great deal 01 
trouble. [Turning] She's growing too fast, and begins to 
understand that she's no longer an infant. [Goes about, and 
looking deliberately at and into everything] If I could only get 
my sister off my hands and Kit married to a fortune, I could 
devote myself to securing a good partie for the child. 

SILENA enters, c. R., bringing on MR. VANDUSEN, who enters in 
morning gown, c. R., with watering-pot. He is a pleasant, easy 
going man of fifty-five. 

n i 

Vandusen. You want me, my dear ? 

Mrs. V. [R.] Yes. Perhaps you are not aware that our 
new girl Caroline went to a ball, or a party, or something last 
night. 

Sil. [Aside] A ball or a party I Happy creature ! 

Van. [c] 1 hope she enjoyed herself. 

Mrs. V. No doubt she did, as it was five in the morning 
when she came home. 

Van. Then she really must have liked it. 

Mrs. V. I gave her permission to stay out till twelve at the 
latest. We must stop this sort of thing at the commencement, 
or she'll be spoiled completely. You will therefore send for her 
and give her a good talking to. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 7 

Van. Who I, iny dear? 

Mrs. V. Yes, you. I don't wish to be always scolding the 
servants. It gets one the reputation of a fault-finder atid ter 
magant, and then one cannot get or keep a decent girl. A few 
words from a man, on the other hand, will keep the creatures in 
order without giving the house a bad name. 

Van. [Putting ivatering-pot off R. c. door.] But, my dear, 
I don't exactly like to. 

Mrs. F. Come ! Be a man of inflexible determination for 
a few minutes. Silena, go and call Caroline. [ Crosses to c.] 

Sil. [Laughing, and aside, going.~] Papa a person of 
inflexible determination. I should like to see that. [Aloud.] 
Yes, ma. [Exits, c. R.] 

Van. I believe it will spoil my whole day. 

Mrs. V. [L.] I have laid out my plans, and expect your 
co-operation. We must live in the country for the sake of 
economy, and it requires peculiar management to retain good 
servants. 

Van. Well, if you and I are to change places, I think 
we'd better go back to the city. 

Mrs. V. On the means we have ? 

Van. Oh, business is sure to improve now the election is 
over. 

Mrs. V. At all events we secured a good education for our 
children. 

Van. My dear, you talk as if we were reduced to a final 
crust. 

Mrs. V. It's little better. All my money gone in the fall 
of coal. 

Van. What a pity you didn't put it in ice. 

Mrs. V. And now I'm dependent. 

Van. On me and Kit. That's only right. 

Mrs. V. Hush, here comes the girl. Now be firm. [Crosses 
to R.] 

CAROLINE appears, c. R. SILENA follows her and comes down R. 

Caroline. [L. c.] You want me, ma'am? 

Mrs. V. Mr. Vandusen has something to say to you. 

Otr. [Frightened*] Mr. Vandusen, ma'am? 

Van. [After sighing deeply, affects a stern air, looks at 
Caroline, advances a few steps, and slaps the table fiercely.] Attend 
to me. [Folds his arms.] 

Car. [To Mrs. F] Oh, ma'am ! what have I done? 

Mrs. V. [Crosses to c., and siveetly.] My child, you had 



8 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

permission to stay out till twelve last night. You exceeded the 
time by five hours. 

(Jar. It was only three o'clock, ma'am. 

Mrs. V. It was five. Was it not, Mr. Vandusen? 

Van. [ Thumping table, R.] Five o'clock ! 

Mrs. V. [To Car-} Mr. Vandusen is dreadfully angry. I 
have interceded all I can, and if you promise never to do it 
again he will forgive you in the end, I'm sure. [ Going, looks 
at Van., coughs to brace him up, and exits, R. door.] 

Car. Please, sir, it shan't happen again. 
Van. Silence! [Pause.'} Explain yourself! [She attempts 
to speak] Not a word ! [Looks over his shoulder R. to assure 
himself that Mrs. V. has gone then pleasantly."} Did you have 
a nice time ? 

Car. Nice time, sir? Oh, at the ball, sir? Oh, it was 
splendid. I couldn't get away sooner. I was engaged for four 
quadrilles yet, aud three polkas and a schottische and all with 
the best dancers, too and then I thought as you were all in bed, 
and I wasn't wanted 

Van. [Reflectively.'} That's a very good point. In fact she 
was not wanted. I don't believe my wife gave that consider 
ation due weight. 

Car. Yes, sir ! 

Van. So you enjoyed yourself, very much ? 

Car. Oh ! very much, sir. They were all young people, sir. 

Van. [Sighs.] Yes ; that is so. 

Car. 1 guess the best way to avoid any trouble in the future, 
sir, is not to expect me till five o'clock when I go to a ball. 

Van. [Looks at her.~} Yes, I guess that's the best way. I 
don't believe my wife thought of that simple solution of the dif 
ficulty. You may go, Caroline. 

Car. Thank'ee, sir ; is that all, sir ? 

Van. [Crossing R., sits on so/a.] Yes; I don't think of any 
thing else, at present. 

Car. You are very kind, indeed, sir. I'll always come to 
you instead of to missus, when I want anything. [Exits, c. R.] 

Van. I don't believe my wife thought of that. [Turns and 
sees SILENA laughing.] Oh ! you were there. 

Silena. [R] Yes, I heard every word. [Slaps table in imitation.'} 
Silence! Go on! Not a word! Explain yourself! [Laughs 
advancing] 

Van. [Dubiously] Was I too rough with her ? 

Sil. Too rough? I wish mamma had been here; it would 
have done her good. [ Crosses to L., laughing] 

Van. Well, if she forces me into the housekeeping depart 
ment, I shall certainly make a mess of it. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 9 

MRS VANDUSEN enters R. door. 

Mrs. Vandusen. Is she gone ? [To Fan.] The next time 
you needn't hammer the furniture to pieces. It's no use to 
overdo a thing. You have probably frightened the girl. 

Sil. [Laughing.] I'm afraid he has not. 

Mrs. V. [Crosses to c.] Is that you, my child? I have a 
word or two to say to you. [VAN. sits and takes up paper.~\ 

Sil. [L.] To me, ma? Have I done anything? 

Mrs. V. Your aunt has complained of you ? 

Ail. Aunt Dosie ? 

Van. [R., looking up from his paper] You are a continual 
source of irritation to your aunt, my dear, because you are young 
and she is not. 

Mrs. V. She is not too old to have offers, although she has 
remained single so long. 

Sil. I'm sure that's not her fault. 

Mrs. V. I see an opportunity now for her to settle before 
her chance is altogether gone. 

Sil. Pa, how old is aunty? 

Van. That is something known only to Heaven and your 
mother. 

Mrs. V. ' Your aunt, child, is about thirty-five. 

Van. [Heading.] Reverse the figures. 

Mrs. V. [ To Sil] Before you came from school, she was the 
young lady of the family. fc 

Sil. Why didn't you leave me at school ? 

Mrs. V. Because we could not afford the expense any longer. 

Sil. [Gravely.] I did not know that. [To Van.] What 
must I do so as not to vex aunty ? 

Van. [Reading.'] Grow old and ugly. 

Mrs. V. Well, show yourself as little as possible in com 
pany till she is married. 

Van. [Same] Then good-bye to company forever. 

Mrs. V. Keep your very bad jokes for yourself. [To Sil] 
You ought to keep out of the way of Mr. Geagle, especially. 
He seems to take a great interest in your aunt. I think she can 
get him. 

Van. What, old Geagle ? Ha ! ha ! 

Mrs. V. [Confidentially to both] I have observed him 
closely. He loves her. 

Van. Nonsense. He's merely a bric-a-brac hunter, and runs 
after anything old and curious. 

Mrs. V. For shame, Christopher ! [To Sil] Your aunt is 
a little displeased at his whispering to you in corners. 



10 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Sil. Yes, but ma, he does so to everybody. Whenever he 
comes in he sidles up, puts his mouth to your ear, and whispers 
" Good morning." 

Van. The same with me. Took me outside, last Saturday, 
to remark confidentially that it was going to rain. 

Mrs. V. [To Sil.'] Well, try to keep out of his Way until 
your father has sounded him with respect to his intentions re 
garding Dosie. [V AN. jumps up horrified.'] 

SIL Certainly, ma. You may assure Aunt Dosie that I have 
no designs on Mr. Geagle. 

Van. [Advancing.] Did I understand you to speak about 
my sounding Geagle as to his intentions? 

Mrs. V. Insinuate to him gently that he's in love. 

Van. I suppose he knows his own business best. 

Mrs. V. He'll believe whatever you tell him. 

Van. My dear, consider. I never did such a thing in my 
life. 

Mrs. V. It's time you learned, then. [VAN. about to speak.'] 
Now don't argue the point. I have maturely considered it and 
it must be done. [He settles back to his paper.] Silena, I wish 
you would call your brother. 

Sil. Yes, mamma. [Going.] She is full of business this 
morning. What is Kit to do, I wonder. [Exits, c. R.] 

Van. [R., rising and laying aside his paper.] You must 
excuse me, this time. Leave me out of the match-making 
business. . 

Mrs. V. Now, for Dosie's sake. 

Van. Do you want me to make that man wretched for 
life? 

Mrs. V. Dosie hasn't a single bad trait. 

Van. With the exception of being a flippant, flirting, fini 
cal, foolish woman. If she'd been sober and sensible, she'd have 
been married long ago. 

Mrs. V. Time has softened every fault. 

Van. I'll swear it hag removed every charm. 

Mrs. V. If Mr. Geagle don't see it, there's no harm in en 
couraging his attentions. He comes up every week, dawdles 
about her, makes a fool of himself, and her too, and so far it all 
amounts to nothing. Besides, I must get her out of the way, so 
I can attend to our own family. 

Van. Our own family will get along. Kit has got a capital 
opening. 

Mrs. V. Twelve hundred a year. Just enough to pay for 
his clothes and cigars. We must find a good match for him 
while he's young and impressionable. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 11 

Van. Now, you are not going to shove that poor boy into 
matrimony by the neck and shoulders. 

Mrs. V. I certainly shall not let him miss the chance of a 
rich wife. 

Van. Suppose he won't fall in love with her. 

Mrs. V. Nonsense ! everybody falls in love Avith a rich 
girl. 

Van. I differ. All the money in the world will not buy 
an honest boy's heart. 

Mrs. V. Don't talk that way. You are to follow my in 
structions Avithout question. These are matters peculiarly within 
the province of a woman. 

Van. Exactly, that's why 

Mrs. V. That's why you are to obey implicitly. [He drops 
in chair and rubs his head.] Dosie mairried, Kit provided for, 
Ave shall then be able to settle Silena. 

Van. You'll settle them all, I expect. 

Mrs. y. Marriage is woman's destiny. 

Van. I say, if you get rid of them all, you and I will be 
left alone. That'll be very lonesome. 

Mrs. V. [Haughtily.] Thank you for the compliment. 

SILENA enters, c. R. 
Silena. He's coming. [ Comes L.] 

KIT enters, c. R., young man of twenty-three. 

Kit. What is it, mother ? 

Van. What is it, my son? A mere trifle. Your mother 
wishes to prepare you for immolation on the altar of mammon 
or matrimony, Avhich, in this case, is the same thing. 

Kit. [R. c.] Matrimony ? I ? 

Mrs. V. [Severely to Van] Mr. Vandusen! [To Sil.~\ Go 
to your room. 

Sil. [Pettishly] What for ? 

Mrs. V. [ Crosses to her] Go this instant. [Sits down to sew. 
Sofa L.] 

Sil. [Going up L.] But I like to hear secrets. [Goes up, 
making a face of discontent, which suddenly clears off. Aside.] 
I'll go to papa's room and read my letter. [Exits gaily, L. D.] 

Kit. [Sitting on sofa, L.] Now, mother. Give us a iew 
points about this matrimonial speculation. 

Van. [Seriously] Nonsense. It is a mere Avhim of your 
mother's. 



12 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Mn. V. Kit, listen to me attentively. You have a position 
with a moderate income. We sent you to college and to a foreign 
university at considerable sacrifice. We have led you to the 
threshold of fortune. You must enter by your own exertions. 

Kit. [Surprised.] At considerable sacrifice ? I thought . 

Mrs. V. Don't interrupt me. 

Kit. I beg pardon. 

Mrs. V. Your father is not in a position to support you and 
all of us for the balance of his life. 

Van. [ Warmly.] My love, I can sustain him until he works 
into a position of his own. He is under no necessity of selling 
him sell '. 

Mrs. V. Your generosity goes a little too far, my dear. 
You are beginning to grow old, and yet you have given up many 
of your accustomed luxuries. Your club horses wines house 
in the city and much more. I hardly think Kit will consent 
to further sacrifices of the kind for his sake. 

Kit. [Rises energetically] Why, mother father I'd sooner 
.work at a wheelbarrow I'd no idea 

Van. [Rising, takes Kit's hand] My dear son, this is a 
little fiction of mamma's. [To Mrs. V.] You are a very 
shrewd woman. You know the boy's weak point his love for 
us both and you would use me as a weight to mould him. 
[To .Kit] Don't be concerned, my boy. I gave up luxuries 
that were really hurtful to a man at my time of life that's 
all 

Kit. [ Takes his hand] Father, the thought of such a possi 
bility would drive me instantly to obey mother in anything she 
proposes, even if it were repulsive to my sense of honor and 
independence. 

Van. [ Crosses to Mrs. V] Do you hear what he says ? 
Your plans are repulsive to his sense of honor and independence. 
For all we know, he may be in love already. I should be re 
joiced to hear that he is. [To Kit] Tell me, isn't it so ? You 
are in love. 

Kit. [Laughing, R.] Not exactly. Although I may say I 
have been thinking of one young lady a great deal. 

Vtfn. [c.] Who is she? What is her name? Where 
does she live? Is she good? Does she love you in return? 
But, of course she does. Well, she must wait for you. And 
you will both be unspeakably happy. [MRS. V. makes a gesture 
of despair] 

Kit. [R.] It's impossible for me to answer all the questions. 
I saw the young lady a year ago, at Silena's school or rather in 
that place at the church. She played the organ and sang. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 13 

We looked at each other our looks, that is, I can assure you 
my looks spoke what I could not utter in words. 

Van. She was one of the scholars ? [Rapturously ] A sweet, 
innocent school girl ? 

Kit. [Hesitating^] No o 

Van. Oh, a visitor a sister of one of the pupils ? 

Kit. No. I think she was a piano teacher taken on trial 
without a salary. [MRS. V. makes a gesture of horror.] 

Van. [Crosses to R., less enthusiastic.] Hem! Hem! Ah! 
well, Silena knows her, of course. 

Mrs. V. [Satirically to Van.] Well, what do you think 
of it ? Does it meet your approval ? 

Van. [ Crosses to c., stoutly.] I always believe in first love. 

Mrs. V. [Seriously.] Perhaps you believe a person must 
necessarily be unhappy who cannot marry his first love. [ With 
meaning.] Are you unhappy ? 

Van. [ Crosses to R., uneasy.] I ? What do why do you 
ask ? What have I to do with it ? [Sitting R.] 

Mrs. V. [ On sofa, L.] Very well, you can assure Kit con 
fidently that time will heal every wound of that character. 

Kit. [Sitting, L. c., next to her.] Well, mother, have you any 
particular person in view for me ? 

Mrs. V. All in good time. 

Van. [ Gruffly.'] You had better insert a matrimonial adver 
tisement, or look up a matrimonial bureau 

Mrs. V. [Dryly.] I have no doubt it would be an ex 
tremely expeditious way of arranging it. 

Van. [To Kit, solemnly.] Then look out, my son, for 
the appearance of a marriage broker a connubial agent who 
will introduce you to a customer for one per cent, of the pur 
chase money. There's no telling to what lengths your mother 
proposes to go. 

Mrs. V. [To Kit.] It will be time enough for you to know 
what I propose, when I understand your views of principle in 
the matter, my son. 

Kit. Dispose of me as you please, mother. [Rises, kisses her 
forehead.] My view of principle in the matter is that I should 
no longer be a burden here. [Exits, c.] 

Van. [Walks up and down in rage.] A burden! My 
darling son a burden here! [To Mrs. V.] Your cold, calcu 
lating, selfish barter and sale of your children is detestable 
is wicked I could heaven forgive me I could leave you at 
this moment and forever. 

...Mrs. V. [Lays aside her work.] I do not doubt it, for you 
never loved me. 



14 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Van. [Astounded, stops.~] How can you say such a thing! 

Mrs. V. Your mother was not very good at keeping a 
secret. [Rises.] She wished me to look upon you as a hero 
and so she 1 told me everything before she died. Everything. 
[With meaning .] 

Van. And what was everything ? 

Mrs. V. That you had been in love with a young girl a 
governess by the name of Silena Summers. You were both 
young and poor, but full of hope for you were just attaining a 
position in life as your son is now, and you were engaged to be 
married. 

Van. [In low tone.'] Well. [Sitting near fire, K.] 

Mrs. V. Suddenly your father died, leaving you greatly 
embarrassed leaving your mother to your care. You made a 
proposition to Silena to postpone the wedding, but she insisted 
on releasing you fully. She said to you, " We dare not wait till 
your mother's death leaves you free, for as your love for me grew 
stronger, you might come to look upon that sacred life as a bur 
den. From that hour my love for you would die." 

Van. [Looks up.~] Well, was this girl not worthy any 
man's affection ? 

Mrs. V. I have not finished. You parted. After a little 
while you met me. It was your mother's wish that you should 
marry me and you did. 

Van. [Quickly J\ Because I loved you. 

Mrs. V. Is it true ? Tell me then why did you call your 
daughter Silena, if you desired to forget Silena Summers ? 

Van. [Rises.'} Have I not been a good husband ? 

Mrs. V. To be sure you have, and I should have been per- 
perfectjy happy if your mother had only kept her secret to her 
self. 

Van. [Embarrassed.'] But you don't suppose for a moment 
that I still think of Sil of my youthful nonsense ? 

Mrs. V. Memories are dangerous things. They are the only 
ones that grow more beautiful with age. 

Van. My dear. I have no longer any eye for beauty. 
The tooth of time ah ! [Sits at fire.] 

Mrs. V. Gnaws away our defences and lets in the enemy. 
But don't be uneasy, I'm a practical woman, and know I've no 
cause for jealousy. 

Van. Jealousy at our age! 

Mrs. V. Where there is love there is always jealousy. Age 
has nothing to do with it. You, I dare say, are not jealous. 

Van. Now, my dear, do you want me to make you a declara 
tion of love ? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 15 

Mrs. V. Not at all. I only wish you to study the happi 
ness of yourself and your children. Do you really believe Kit 
will be unhappy because he marries a wife of his mother's choice? 
Didn't you? And are you unhappy? 

Van. [Rising, gallantly.'] Nonsense. Why should I be un 
happy? Just the reverse. I am happy. [Gives her hi* hand.~] 

Mrs. V. Thank you! I was sure you would be sensible. 
[Exits, R. D.] 

Van. [Looks after her] She's a good woman. If sha didn't 
have such a genius for managing everybody. [Thought/uHy.] 
So she knew the story of my youth and never spoke of 
it till to-day when I opposed her plans about Kit. But I've 
done nothing wrong, perhaps. Yet the recollection of Silena 
was always a pleasant memory. A shrine to which I fled for 
repose, after a connubial storm. Yes it was right to expose it, 
to tear away the veil, to shatter the idol, to close the shrine, and 
I'm glad she did it. But I would like to get in a devil of a rage 
with somebody. [ Walks up and down ; sees Silena off L.] Silena ! 
What letter is that you are concealing? 

Sil. [Behind scene, L. D.] What letter, papa ? 

Van. Come out here. 

SILENA enters, L., embarrassed. 

Silena. Here I am, papa. 

Van. I saw quite plainly, that you put a letter in vour 
pocket. 

Sil. [Takes out letter.] I wouldn't have hidden it from you. 
I was only afraid of mamma. It's only from Gussie Archer at 
school and it makes the tears come into my eyes to read it. 

Van. Indeed, what does she say? 

Sil. Sit down and I'll read it to you. [Sits at his side, he c.] 

Van. Yes, read it, it will divert my thoughts. 

Sil. [Heads.] "Dear Silena: You remember our pitui > 
teacher, Miss Forrest, whom everybody liked so much? She h;is 
inherited an immense fortune from a very distant relative half 
a million they say. She gave a dinner before she left to all the 
teachers and to six of the biggest girls. It was delicious. She 
is very romantic and is going to do ever so much good with her 
money; to help the struggling and to unite those who are victims 
of disappointed hopes. She spoke particularly of a pair of young 
lovers she had heard of a real true story. It seems there was a 
lovely young girl of eighteen named Silena just like you and 
who taught music. She was beloved by a splendid young fellow 
named Christopher, just making his way in the world. While 



16 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

they were anticipating with the deepest happiness the day of 
their marriage, his father died and left him and his mother in 
the deepest poverty." [Feeling a tear drop on her hand she looks 
up and sees him weeping, his head resting on his hand, which is 
pressed to his eyes; he had listened attentively at first, then becomes 
deeply moved.] Papa, what is the matter, are you ill? [Puts 
letter on desk behind her.] 

Van. [Pressing her head to his breast.] My dear child. 

Sil. Shall I call mamma? 

Van. [Holding her to him.] No ! don't call anybody. I 
am perfectly well. There ! it's all right. [Kisses her, puts her 
of his knee, rises.] I'll take a walk in the garden, that will do 
me good. [Exits, c. R., after kissing her forehead.] 

Sil. [L.] What is the matter with papa? I never saw him 
that way. I hadn't got to the sentimental part of the story, and 
yet it was too much for him. [c.] 

CAROLINE enters, c. L., with card. 

Caroline. This gentleman wants to see a member of the 
family, Miss. 

Sil. [Takes cards, reads.] "Thomas Versus, Attorney and 
Counsellor-at-Law." Whom does he wish to see ? 

Car. Guess anybody '11 do, Miss ; he said he wasn't partic 
ular so long as they was composentus and could testify ineligibly. 

$tt. [Puts card and letter on table] Ask him in, Caroline. 

Car. Yes, Miss. [Exits, c.] 

Sil. I don't believe papa wants to see anybody and mamma's 
up stairs. I wonder if he's a country lawyer. [Looks off c. and 
returns] Oh, no; he's city. [Stage L.] 

TOM VERSUS enters, c. L., hat in hand, is young, lively, well- 
dressed young fellow. 

Tom Versus. [R.] Good morning Miss Miss 

Sif. [Looks at him intently.] What do you wish ? 

Tom. [R., aside] By Jove! She's handsome. [Aloud] I 
should like to know if a Mr. Kit Vandusen lives here. Miss 
Miss 

Sil. Kit? that's my brother. 

Tom. Your brother? [Aside] I didn't know he had a 
sister, and yet I thought I knew all about him. [Aloud] But 
'twas ever thus. We imagine we are thoroughly posted about a 
man and yet his greatest recommendation [6ows] remains un 
known. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 17 

Sil. [L., curtseys.] Oh, thank you. 

Tom. For what ? 

&7. [Disconcerted.] I thought you were paying me a com 
pliment. 

Tom. My dear Miss Vandusen, if your perfections were 
targets and my praises were arrows, they would fall far short of 
the mark. 

Sil. Oh, thank you. Don't do it any more, please. That 
one hit. [Crosses to R.] I am quite unaccustomed to such 
flattery. 

Tom. [L.] Indeed. Then they must keep you away from 
the gaze of impressionable man. 

Sil. Well, I'm not secluded exactly; but I have to keep out 
of the way, 'till my aunt gets married. 

Tom. [Smiles] How old is your aunt? 

Sil. Well, both of us together are fifty. 

Tom. I see. Aunt old ; disappointed, lean, lank, sour and 
savage. You, young, fresh, beautiful, beloved by everybody. 
Tyrannical persecution. Immured from the world, but not for 
ever. Look up ; hope. He will come. Radiant with love and 
hope. His bright eye flashing, his dark hair flowing. [Running 
hand through his hair.] His hair will be dark. Chestnut brown. 

Sil. [Laughing] Allow me to call my brother and tell him 
you are here. [Exits, c. R.] 

Tom [Looks after her] She's charming. Now that I begin 
to find Mr. Kit Vandusen the possessor of such a sister, I 
begin to take renewed interest in my mission. Let us prepare 
for the interview. My notes [Takes out note-book and opens it] 
are full and explicit. I am first to touch lightly on the history 
of the heroic music teacher and the exemplary son. Then un 
fold the purpose of a mysterious benefactor my friend and 
client, Miss Mary Forrest, who has heard their story and intends 
to make them happy. The lover shall not despair, the maiden 
shall not pine, the mother shall not die. A competence will be 
settled upon them conditioned upon their immediate marriage. 
All complete. [Shuts book and ruminates] I have found the 
exemplary son, the despairing lover, Mr. Kit Vandusen. I am 
to send him to Miss Mary Forrest. She will do the rest; reunite 
him to the music teacher, who has pined so long. I should do 
very little credit to my own penetration if I doubted for one 
moment it was Mary herself. She was a teacher of the piano 
forte, which is the same as music, if you know how to play. 
Happy Kit. He will get half a million and his long-lost love. 



18 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

SILENA re-enters, c. R. 

Silena. My brother will be here immediately. Please take a 
seat. [Points to sofa, c.] 

Tom. [c.] Will you? [She sits L., then he does c.] I hope 
you told him there was no hurry. An hour or two makes no 
difference, if you can stay. [Rises and bows.~] 

Sil. [L., rises and bows.'] Oh, thank you. Kit can't imagine 
what you want with him. 

Tom. I bring him some very agreeable and unlooked for 
intelligence. 

Sil. Oh ! is it a great secret ? 

Tom. It is. 

Sil. Oh! are you a government official, or something? 

Tom. No, I'm only a lawyer. 

Sil. Oh ! Do you dance ? 

Tom. Dance? It's not exacted by the rules of the Supreme 
Court as a qualification for the bar, but individually I do 
dance, and personally I like to. 

Sil'. [Sitting on sofa, moves nearer to him.'] I'm so glad. I 
love dancing so much, and young dancing men are so scarce 
now-a-days. 

Tom. Do you go to balls? Are you going to the Triton 
Masquerade, next week ? They give it at the Hippodrome this 
year, you know. 

Sil. Oh, I should love a masquerade. But 'till aunt's en 
gaged I have to stay at home. 

Tom. That's a poor prospect, to wait for the engagement of a 
maiden aunt of fifty. 

Sil. [ Quickly. ~\ You forget that I am counted in the fifty. 

Tom. [Rises and bowsJ] I could not forget you. 

Sil. Thank you. [Rises.'] But here's my brother. I must 
go. [Seriously and bowing. J I have been very much enter 
tained. 

Tom. The pleasure on my side has been ten-fold. 

Sil. Oh, thank you. [Going, aside.'] He's just splendid. 
[Exits, R. D.] 

Tom. What an ingenuous little thing; says: "Thank you" 
for every compliment. 

KIT enters, c. R. 

Kit. [L.] You wish to see me? 

Tom. [R., aside.'] Fine-looking fellow. Mary has taste. 
[Ah ud.~\ I come on a delicate errand very delicate. Affairs 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 19 

of the heart, the domain of the affections, the uniting of kindred 
souls, are a little out of the common, as professional employment, 
but it's got to be done and I'm here to do it. 

Kit. [ Crosses to R., looks at him, aside.] It can't be possible. ' 
Has mother actually set a matrimonial agent at work? [To Tom.] 
It's too absurd. My dear sir, my mother 

Tom. Don't say a word, sir ! Not necessary it's all right. 
Your devotion to your mother, your unselfish sacrifice I know 
all. I sympathize with you deeply. 

Kit. [Looks at him.'] Do you? [Turns and aside.] It's 
astounding 

Tom. [Sits c] But to the point. I represent a young lady 
who has just come into a large fortune, which enables her to give 
full sway to the dictates of an emotional nature. 

Kit. [Sits R. of so/a.] Well, sir you represent this young 
lady? 

Tom. Who requests the pleasure of a visit from you this 
afternoon at four o'clock. 

Kit. And the address. 

Tom. [ Giving card] She is stopping at present at my house 
with my mother, being herself an orphan. 

Kit. An orphan. 

Tom. Yes the young lady and a friend of our family from 
infancy. I am not permitted at present, for obvious reasons, to 
disclose her name. You will discover it from her own lips. 

Kit. [After considering card] I'm a little green in these 
matters. Am I required to say anything in particular when I 
see her, or wait for her to begin the conversation ? 

Tom. If you've got anything to say, I suppose you'll say it. 
I always do. [Crosses to R.] 

Kit. [Rises] Well, I'll come. And take the greatest pains 
to act the amiable, and secure you your commission. Good morn 
ing ! [ Going up c.] It's wonderful. [Exits, c. R.] 

Tom. [ Watches him off, turns] I like the sister better. 

MRS. VANDUSEN enters, R. D. 

Mrs. Vandusen. Caroline said a person had called. [Sees 
Tom] Ah! You wish 

Tom. [L.] My mission is ended, my dear madam. I have 
spoken to Mr. Vandusen. 

Mrs. V. I am Mrs. Vandusen. 

Tom. [In admiration] The mother! [Advances with out 
stretched hands, takes hers] Madam ! I am most happy to make 
your acquaintance. 



20 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Mrs. V. [Trying to free her hands.'} What do you say, sir ? 

Tom. [Releasing her, folding his arms, exhorting her.} Co'ur- 
age, poor mother. Courage, noble creature! [MRS. V. comes 
down, looking at him.} It's a long lane that has no turning ; even 
misfortune must have an end. 

Mrs. V. My dear sir 

Tom. You have suffered. You have lost your husband. You 
will never get another. 

Mrs. V. Sir! 

Tom. I mean you will never want another. But you have a 
son an heroic son, and a lovely daughter. [Catches her Jiands.} 
Cherish that daughter. She was the first to receive the dove 
bearing the olive branch in its beak. I was the dove, the olive 
branch is peace. Peace after all your sufferings. [Hurriedly.} 
I represent a wealthy heiress Miss Mary Forrest. Now you 
can guess all. Courage, poor mother, courage ! [Shakes her 
hands, and at door.} Courage ! [Exits, c.} 

Mrs. V. The man must be crazy. Miss Mary Forrest? I 
never even heard the name before, and he referred to my hus 
band. I'll just call Christopher and ask him what it's all about. 
[Takes hilena's letter from table.} What's this? a letter to my 
daughter. Is it possible that innocent child corresponds behind 
my back ? [Huns over it.} Piano teacher Mary Forrest the 
very name. [Heads further.} Why, here is my husband's own 
story related in this boarding school. Let me see about this. 
[Reads.} " Miss Forrest heard all the particulars from one of 
the chief actors in the drama, Silena Summers herself. She now 
declares it her resolution to bring the unhappy couple together. 
I have money, she says, it shall be the means of uniting those 
noble hearts. I will search for the devoted lover and son. I 
.will " [Drops the letter.} Everything is turning round in my 
head. This person going to find my husband and unite him to 
Silena Summers! Where is this wealthy lunatic? She must 
have sent the other insane person who was here just now. And 
he has seen Vandusen and spoken to him. Good heavens! His 
mysterious language, " You have lost your husband." Can it be 
possible they were secretly married? Oh, pshaw! [Sits and holds 
her head.} It's nonsense ! there's some mistake, of course. But 
whatever it is, there's a mystery I must solve. [Puts letter in her 
pocket and rises.} 

SILENA running in, c. L. 

Silena. He's coming ! 

Mrs. V. [Starting.} Who's coming? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 21 

Sil. [Mysteriously.] Mr. Geagle ! 

Mrs. V. I can't see him. You stay here till I send your 
aunt down. 

Sil. But suppose he commences to whisper? 

Mrs. V. Don't hear anything he says. [Sternly.'] You and 
I, Miss, have a little account to settle afterward. 

Sil. [Aside, and frightened, feeling in pocket] I left my 
letter on the desk. 

Mrs. V. Deceitful girl ! 

Sil. [Crying."] Don't say that, mamma. Upon my honor, 
I would not conceal from you anything important. 

Mrs. V. [In tremulous tones, draining her toward her.] You 
ought to be a comfort to me. [About to push her away, recalls 
the purpose and kisses her.] Be a good, dear, little child ! [Exits, 
R. D., hurriedly, handkerchief to eyes] 

Sil. [Surprised] Mamma kissed me, like papa did. What 
is the matter with my parents to-day. I know they're out of 
humor on aunt's account. Why don't Mr. Geagle say what he 
wants whether he wants to marry her or not. Suppose I ask 
him. I've a great mind to. He'd have to give me an answer 
one way or the other. [Determined] I'll do it. I'll secure a 
husband for aunty, liberty for myself and a waltz with the 
dancing lawyer. [ Gets L.] 

GEAGLE enters, c. L., a man about 50, neatly dressed, quite bald, 
save a narrow fringe of hair around the sides of his head. 
Extremely smiling and confidential in hi$ address. Looks at 
Silena, smiles, lays his hat on chair, R., looks again and smiles. 
Unbuttons a long ulster, takes it off, folds it. Looks for a 
chair to put it on, L. Looks at her, smiles again, deposits coat 
R., then comes down, hat in hand, softly. Keeps hat behind 
him. 

Geagle. [ Whispers in her ear, R.] Good morning ! [Nods, 
winks and smiles] 

Sil. [ Takes his hand, leads him to L. corner, and in his ear] 
How do you find yourself to-day ? 

Geagle. [Looks at her beamingly] Pretty well, but I don't 
sleep. 

Sil. [Leads him to R. corner, and as before] Why? 

Geagle. [Tapping his head] Buzzing in my head. 

Sil. Lor'! what is it? 

Geagle. I don't know. Perhaps it's because I have of late 
taken to deep philosophical inquiries. I discuss with myself: 
Who are you? Why are you here? What for ? Why do you 
exist ? 



22 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Sil. Well, what do you make of it ? 

Geagle. [Looking around.'] Nothing really nothing. Of 
course, I didn't come on the planet to collect curiosities. That 
affords employment for about one-eighth of one per cent, of my 
intellectual and physical faculties. Then what is the rest of me 
for ? In the evening {mysteriously}, when it grows dark and I'm 
all alone, and everybody is sitting at home with wives and chil 
dren, I become depressed. I feel a want a void a vacuum 

Sil. [Same, to R.] You want a wife. 

Geagle. My dear, it is only a short time since I have been 
able to accumulate capital enough to support a wife. 

Sil. [L.] Then why don't you marry now ? 

Geagle. I would, but I've been having a race with Time. I've 
been piling up dollars and he's been piling up years. 

Sil. That's nothing. All you have to do is to look out for 
some one who is not too young. Haven't you had your eye on 
somebody already ? 

Geagle. [Seizing her hand.'] I wouldn't breathe it for the 
world. 

Sil. But I've seen and I know. 

Geagle. [Same.} I hope no one else noticed it. 

Sil. No ! No one but I. 

Geagle. [Stage R. and back.} How clever the children are 
now-a-days. 

Sil. So you do love Aunt Dosie ? Eh ? 

Geagle. I don't know if it's love, not having had any ex 
perience. 

Sil. Aunt Dosie is a mighty fine-looking woman. 

Geagle. Is she? [Crosses to L.] -I'm so near-sighted. At 
all events, she'd suit me better than a young girl. But I'm 
afraid of being refused. [Close to her.} 

Sil. [R.] Why should she refuse you ? 

Geagle. [Looking around cautiously.} Because I wear a 
wig! 

Sil. [Regarding his bald head.} You wear a wig ? [Astonished, 
walks round him.} 

Geagle. I don't wonder you look astonished. It's made to 
imitate nature so perfectly that no one would suspect with the 
naked eye. 

Sil. [Getting R. of him.} You amaze me. Do sit down. 
[Takes his hat to put on. the table, looks in it and draws the wig out 
of it, aside.} He pulled it off with his hat. [Replaces it and lays 
hat on table, then sits beside him.} But why should your wig 
interfere with your success ? 

Geagle. [R.] Because it's a deception she doesn't dream of. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 23 

How could I tell her, and yet there should be no secrets between 
man and wife. 

Sil. Then you'd marry her if she'd have you? [He hesi 
tates. Firmly!] Yes or no ? 

Geagl'e. [Determinedly. ,] Yes! [Rising, goes L.] Well, 
what these children don't know now-a-days! 

Sil. [ Calls, L. D.] Aunt Dosie ! 

Geagle. [Aside, R.] I'm frightfully nervous. [Feels pulse] 
I can't feel any pulse. And I've got a hot flush with a chill. L 
ought to have taken a pill before coming out, but I couldn't 
foresee the crisis coming so suddenly. If she says yes, I wonder 
if I must hug her or kiss her. I never did. I never could. I'll 
do it wrong. But she isn't a widow. She can't make any 
odious comparisons. 

Sil. [At door, L.] Here she is. [Clasps her hands.] She 
looks beautiful. 

Geagle. [R.] Now for it. [Blows his nose and tries to get up 
an attitude.] 

DOSIE enters, L. D. A maiden lady of fifty. Mitch over 
dressed and too youthfully painted. Hair in long braids with 
ribbons, but not too much of a caricature; quick, active and 

effusive. 

Dosie. [To Silena, as she runs in.~\ Did you call me, darling? 
[Stops, bashfully, on seeing Geagle, then, placing her arm arowid 
Silena, a-la school-girl, comes down with her.] How do you do, 
Mr. Geagle? [Giggles with SILENA, hides htr blushes in the 
latter' s shoulders ] 

Geagle. [Gasping for breath] Gug gug good morning. 
[Aside] How dry my larynx is. 

Sil. Aunt, dear, Mr. Geagle has something important to 
say to you. 

Dosie. Me, darling? It's some little foolish, foolish thing, 
only fit for giddy girls. [Smiles sweetly at Geagle] 

Sil. You'll be giddy in a minute. Just sit down here. 
[Places her in chair, C. Crosses to R.] 

Dosie. What does the child mean? 

Sil. [To Geagle, whom she takes by the hand and seals 
beside Dosie in another chair] And you sit just there. 

Geagle. [Aside to Silena] Don't go away. 

Sil. [Stands off to view them; to Geagle] Speak up, like 
a man. 
. Dosie. What is all this preparation for? 

Geagle. My dear Miss Heffroii Theodi sia, I believe we have 
both arrived at an age 



24 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Dosie. At a what ? 

Geagle. At a period a period when we ought to think of 
of you know. 

Dosie. [Aside.~] It's come at last. [Aloud.'] I don't know 
what you mean. 

Geagle. I'm only fifty. 

Dosie. Oh, years make no difference. 

Geagle. Oh, yes, they do. I consider that, particularly in 
your case [Catches a warning gesture from SIL.] I mean, in my 
case. Let us say our case. 

Dosie. [Decidedly."] Never mind pursuing that .subject. 
[Simpering.] What did you want with me ? 

Geagle. [ With a burst J] To marry you. [Jumps up.~\ It's 
out. It's out. [Blows his nose as he crosses, and takes stage R.] 

Dosie. [ With a en/.] Oh, catch me ! [He props her up with 
one hand and fans, her with a newspaper with the other, which he 
takes from his pocket. Recovering .] You have so taken me by 
surprise. I never even thought of marriage. 

Sil. [Up stage, R.] Oh, aunty! [GEAGLE waves her off. 
&he goes off, c., and afterwards peeps in, c. R.] 

Dosie. I had no idea of changing my mode of life. There is 
everything here to make a young thing like me happy. I was 
like a bird, joyous all the day long. 

Geagle. Well, we'll be a pair of birds, and go off and flock 
together. 

Dosie. [Both sit.] I can't decide upon the instant. I don't 
know you, Mr. Geagle. 

Geagle. [R., on seat.'] You've known me fifteen years. 

Do*ie. [Sentimentally.'] It seems as if I had seen you but 
yesterday. 

Geagle. Well, it was only last Saturday. Now to business. 
What am I to do, hope ? Is it a bargain, or shall we call it off? 

Dosie. I must consult my sister. 

Geagle. Then I needn't go right off and drown myself, eh ? 

Dosie. Would I sit here if you were indifferent to me, dear 
Nicholas. [Titters and drops her head on his shoulder.'] 

Geagle. Dear Dosie. [Takes her hand, then suddenly stops 
and draws back with a sigh, looking fixedly at her.~] I- think it 
proper to call your attention to a little defect. [DosiE looks at 
herself and feels her toilette in alarm'] Oh, on my part. [DosiE 
relieved.] A a fault a deficiency. 

Dosie. A fault, a deficiency? 
Geagle. A big one. 

Dosie. [Soothingly.] Can't you get rid of it ? \ 

Geagle. I do take it off sometimes, but I can't get rid of it 
altogether. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 25 

Dosie. How singular. 

Geagle. Look at me, don't you observe something singular? 

Dosie. You alarm me. 

Geagle. The fact is, then [Places her on seat.~\ I I wear 
I wear 

Sil. [c., who has been watching, holds up the wig.] The 
fact is, aunty, he wears a wig. 

Geagle. [Starting away, L.] What's that? [Feels head,~\ 
Why I didn't have it on at all. [To Dosie.'] And you didn't 
refuse me, even though I went for you bald-headed. I am a 
happy man. Victory! [Seizes DOSIE'S hands, and both go 
skipping over to sofa, L., and sit.] 

Dosie. Did you think I would have loved you the less on 
account of a wig. 

Geagle. The danger is past. Now I can speak. We'll 
celebrate the festivity by a little wild dissipation. We'll go to 
the Triton masquerade, eh ? 

Sil. Me, too ! 

Geagle. You ! of course. [Motions her to retire.] 

Sil. [Aside.] They'll do. Won't pa be glad I've taken 
the business off his hands. [Huns off, c. R. Music. Instantly 
re-appears, and runs to L. and off, c. R.] 

[GEAGLE whispers in DOSIE'S ear. She puts her hands before 
her face, then whispers to him. He hides his face in his hands f 
She runs over to chair, R. H. He misses her, and looks under the 
sofa and behind it, then sees her sitting R. with handkerchief over 
her head. Steals over, lifts corner of handkerchief and says " Peek- 
a-boo."] 9 

Dosie. [Running back to L.] Nicky can't catch me. [GEA 
GLE folloivs her. Both on sofa, L. He whispers in her ear. She 
shakes her head. He whispers again, holding up finger, as if asking 
for one kiss. She hesitates, finally throws her handkerchief around 
his neck, he getting on his knees before her, back to audience. She 
pulls his head forward to her and kisses him twice on top of the 
bald spot.] 

MR. and MRS. VANDUSEN enter, c., with SILENA. They all ex 
claim Bravo ! Bravissimo. 

Geagle. [Leading Dosie to Mrs. V.'s feet, and kneeling.] 
Mother, your blessing ! [Back to audience.] 

CURTAIN. 



26 NEEDLES AND PINS. 



ACT II. 

SCENE. Handsome library, bookcase of miscellaneous books, L. C., 
and bookcase of law books, R. c. Door of entrance, c. Doors 
L. and R., table R., sofa behind it, chairs, etc. Music. 

JONAH, an old clerk, in rusty black, is discovered arranging papers 
on table, has on white tie, pen behind ear, has habit of taking 
snuff. MARY FORREST enters, c. L.; she is a young girl of 21, 
elegantly dressed. 

Mary. [L.] Is Mr. Versus in his office, Jonah? 

Jonah. Yes, Miss. He's drawing some pleadings. 

Alary. Ask him if he will come to me as soon as he is disen 
gaged. 

Jon. [ Going. Crosses to L.] Yes, Miss. 

Mary. And, Jonah, I believe the callers for Mr. Versus are 
usually shown in here. Will you attend particularly, this morn 
ing, to showing them to the outer room. 

Jon. Yes, Miss. 

Mary. [Going to table, R.] That is all, thank you. 

Jon. [Aside going. ,] When a body comes into half a mil 
lion, other bodies go to the outer room. [Exits, L. D., snuffling and 
shuffling.] 

Mary. By this time my letters and telegram must have 
reached the school, and Silena is reading them with more than 
surprise. She will hear that I have found her Kit. Poor heart ! 
She had given up all hope of happiness, and it was reserved for 
me to fill her with joy. [Rising. ~] What better use to make of 
riches! When I feel her sobbing on my breast when I see him 
clasp her hand when they are married, and they shall be mar 
ried I shall have my reward. 

Jon. [Shuffles in, L. D.] Mr. Versus coming, Miss. He's 
in a hurry. 

TOM VERSUS enters, L. D. 

Tom. [To Jon.~\ Run off and post those letters, Jonah, and 
try to serve Boggs on your way back. We must catch Boggs. 
[JON. nods and exits.] Came as soon as I could. [Crosses to 
Mary.~\ Very busy this morning. Most important divorce case. 
Lady in a great hurry. [/Site.] I sent you word I'd found your 
man. 

Mary. [Sits c.] I want to ask you all about him. You have 
really found Christopher Vandusen ? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 27 

Tom. [Sighs.'] Yes, alas ! 

Mary. What's the matter ? 

Tom. [Sits next to her.'] What's the matter ? I've found a 
rival, of course. 

Mary. A rival ? Do you love Selina Summers ? 

Tom. Why not ? I presume that Selina Summers and you 
are one and the same person ? 

Mary. Don't talk nonsense. You are my lawyer, and a good 
one extremely conscientious for a lawyer, and I want your ad 
vice. 

Tom. [Profoundly.'] State your case. 

Mary. There is a young man, good-looking, clever, full of life, 
a little unsteady and flighty, yet brave and good, whom I have 
known since childhood. [Ton looks at her] He never cared a 
snap for me all my life, until I came into a fortune, when he an 
nounces himself deeply attached to me. [He rises, takes stage R. 
H.] What do you advise ? Shall I trust him ? Come, answer 
like a sagacious and conscientious lawyer, consulted on a matter 
of business. [TOM scratches his ear.] Well ? 

Tom. [Advancing to her] Well, my advice is, take him, if 
you don't find any one better. 

Mary. [Extending her hand to him.'] That is exactly what I 
think. So we'll let the matter rest there for the present. 

Tom. [Holding her hand] So you are Selina Summers ? 

Mary. [Rising.] You are mistaken. The proof is this tele 
gram, I have sent two hours ago, to the true Silena Summers. 
[ Takes paper from pocket and hands it to Tom.] Read it please. 

Tom. [Reads R., crosses to L.] "To Miss Silena Summers, 
Music Teacher. Miss Bunker's Seminary for Young Ladies, 
Middleburg, Montgomery County, New York." It's a good thing 
they don't charge for the address. [Reads.~\ "Have found your 
Christopher. Come on by next train. He will be at my house. 
All is well. Remember the story you told me. Mary Forrest." 

Mary. [Rises] You believe in her existence now ? 

Tom. Well, I have a resource against the disappointment 
the "remembrance [Enthusiastic] of a charming creature by 
the way, the sister of your friend, Christopher a delicious little 
innocent, who always says " thank you," when I pay her a com 
pliment. 

Mary. [Surprised] Christopher has a sister ? 

Tom. A rosebud. Voice like a bell. Eyes like a gazelle. 
Altogether bright, and fresh, and beaming, like a May morning. 

Mary. Did you intimate to Mr. Vandusen why he was re 
quested to call here ? 

Tom. Oh, yes ! I explained. 



28 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Mary. How did he take it ? 

Tom. Well, he didn't appear overjoyed. 

Mary. He controlled his feelings ? 

Tom. [L.] Admirably, if he had any. Now, his mother, the 
widow, she was much more excited. But it struck me she was 
not altogether the helpless creature we supposed. 

Mary. She is a most deserving person. 

Tom. I don't think you'll find her a very thankful one. Do 
you know it occurred to me that these people may have got over 
the old fit I mean the original affection. It must be a couple 
of years, at least, since it all happened. Christopher may have 
braced up and got another girl. [ Crosses to R.] 

Mary. Are men so fickle? 

Tom. [R.] If I may judge by myself, there isn't the slightest 
dependence to be placed on any of them. 

Mary. If they are all as honest there is some hope. 

HANNAH, servant maid, appears, c. L. 

Hannah. A gentleman, by the name of Mr. Vandusen, has 
called to see Mr. Versus. 

Tom. [Rising] I'll be there in a moment. [HANNAH exits 
C. L., he looks at watch.~\ I told him four o'clock. He's punctual. 

Mary. [Crosses to R.] Please send him to me. 

Tom. [Going up] Don't forget you're to have me, if you 
don't find a better. 

Mary. [R.] Suppose the " May morning" were to hear you ? 

Tom. Ah ! the " May morning," what a pity most of them 
turn out November afternoons. I'll go and rattle off that di 
vorce. [Exits, L. D.] 

Mary. [Sits on sofa, c.] I am really curious to see Silena's 
lover. 

KIT VANDUSEN enters, c., shown in by HANNAH, who exits. He is 
carefully dressed. Does not perceive Mary at first. 

Kit. The lamb is led to the slaughter. I trust the victim is 
becomingly decorated for the sacrifice. [Sees Mary.~\ Madam ! 

Mary. [ Turns, recognizing him.] He ! who is this ? [ Crosses 
to L.] 

Kit. [Recognizing.'] You ! [Aside.] It must be the same ! 
That Sunday at the church. How is it possible? 

Mary. [Aside.] It is he, and he belongs to another. I have 
brought them together. What a destiny is mine? [Leans 
against table for support] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 29 

Kit. [Hastens to her. ,] You are ill ; can I assist you ? [She 
drops in seat.~\ 

Mary. [Motions him away coldly.~] Pray be seated. 

Kit. I thought you were about to fall. 

Mary. No I only sat down energetically, that's all. 

Kit. [Aside.'] I'll marry her, of course that's all right. But 
how fortunate ; mother might have proposed somebody else and 
then [Shudders.'] 

Mary. Please take a seat. 

Kit. [Sits, c.] I am at your service. 

Mary. You are aware, I suppose, why you were sent for. 

Kit. Certainly. I had a conversation with my mother, this 
morning. 

Mary. Your mother seems to take more interest in the matter 
than you. 

Kit. I confess I was indifferent, but now that I find you are 
the person who or the person which 

Mary. [L.] Let us talk of your affairs. You are willing to 
be married ? 

Kit. If you wish it with the greatest pleasure. 

Mary. How much of a dowry do you think a bride ought to 
bring ? 

Kit. [Entreating.'] Don't let us talk of money. Let us 
speak of the time when we first met when our souls, stirred by 
the solemn tones of the organ sought expression for their feel 
ings and spoke to each other through our glances. 

Mary. [Rising, excited.] How can you talk in this strain to 
me ! Do you forget that you are going to be married ? 

Kit. [Rising and ardently seizes her hand.] Yes ; and I felt 
I ought, for that reason most of all, to show you that from the 
first moment our eyes met 

Mary. [ Crosses to c.] Not a word more. Tell me what sum 
of money a bride ought 

Kit. Do you can you believe me capable of entertaining 
one sordid thought in your presence ? 

Mary. [Agitated.~\ The sum ! The sum ! 

Kit. I refuse to discuss the topic. With me marriage is too 
sacred for the intrusion of a selfish thought. 

HANNAH appears, c. 

Mary. [To her. ~] What is it? 

Hannah. Lady, miss. Says she is Mrs. Vandusen. 

Kit. Mother ! [Aside.] Come to see how I'm getting on. 

Mar-y. [ To Kit.~] I'm exceedingly glad. She, at least, will 



30 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

discuss this matter in a practical way. [ To Han.~] Ask her to 
come in. 

Kit. [To Han.'] Wait a moment. [To Mary.'] Allow me 
to withdraw. I don't wish to meet mother here. I'm not 
anxious to hear a practical discussion of the topic between you. 
I have some sense of shame in the matter. 

Mary. [Points R.; he crosses.] You can step into that room, 
but do not leave until I speak with you again. 

Kit. I will wait. [Aside, going.'] Heavens, is there no 
youth no love even in her. [Exits, R. 1 E.] 

Mary. [To Han.~\ Ask Mrs. Vandusen to enter. [HAN. 
exits, c] Will Silena ever know the sacrifice I am making for 
her sake ? 

MRS. VANDUSEN enters, c. L., shown in by HANNAH, who exits, 

C. L. 

Mrs. Vandusen. Have I the honor of addressing Miss For 
rest ? 

Mary. [Graciously.'] Mrs. Vandusen? I am delighted to 
see you. You are exceedingly welcome. [They sit.] 

Mrs. V. You are extremely kind. 

Mary. I should find it hard to be otherwise to one who 
had suffered so much one who has the misfortune to be left a 
widow 

Mrs. V. [Rising suddenly. ] Widow again ! 

Mary. [Slightly amazed, R.] I beg your pardon, but let us 
come to the point. I expect Silena Summers to-day. 

Mrs. V. [Smothered excitement.] Do you, indeed. 

Mary. I telegraphed for her this morning. 

Mrs. V. [c., aside] This is dreadful. [Sits] 

Mary. You don't appear to believe that I can effect the 
arrangement I propose. 

Mrs. V. [With burst.] But what arrangement in heaven's 
name do you propose ? 

Mary. Well, to be practical, I intend to advance the neces 
sary funds to remove all obstacles to her happiness. How much 
do you require ? 

Mrs. V. [Controlling her voice with an effort] My dear 
young lady, will you first do me the favor to explain by what 
right you meddle in my affairs ? 

Mary. Silena is my friend. 

Mrs. V. [More forcible] By what authority do you dare 
imperil my legal and lawful claims upon Mr. Vandusen? 

Mary. Why, don't you understand, I propose to put her in a 
position to claim him as her own. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 31 

Mrs. V. [Rising, excitedly.'] And do you think, madam, 
that because you have come into a fortune, you have the right or 
the power to take away a woman's husband and the father of 
her children ? Pray, don't forget, my dear young lady, that we 
have the police [MARY rises in alarm], and the laws and "the 
courts to stop any such proceedings. [Crosses to R.] 

Mary. Do you mean to say that he is married and has chil 
dren. Christopher married ! 

Mrs. V. Don't you presume to call my husband by his 
Christian name. 

Mary. Your husband? But he's dead, isn't he ? 

Mrs. V. This is too much. [Shrieks and falls in chair, ] 

Mary. [Bewildered.] There must be some mistake. 

Mrs. V. [Rising.] There's no mistake. My husband was in 
love with Silena Summers he gave her up for reasons that were 
sufficient and commendable and this was twenty-five years 
ago. 

Mary. Twenty-five years ago? Why, the Silena I mean is 
not twenty-five years old. 

JONAH enters, c., with envelope. 

Jonah. Telegram, miss. Just come. [Hands it to MARY, who 
opens it he goes, and aside.] The fellows proposing by telegraph. 
Lord, what draft there is in half a million ! [Exits, c] 

Mary. From Silena herself. Now we shall see. [Reads] 
" Your message is quite a puzzle. I dp not know any Chris 
topher The story I related to you was that of my mother. 
Silena." [JsiWe.j What have I been doing? How can I ex 
plain or apologize. [To Mrs. V] You see, madam, it was an 
error, and all on my part. 

Mrs. V. [Pre-occupied with another idea.] Yes yes I 
understand. But what is the name of this daughter this 
[Points to telegram] 

Mary. Silena Summers. 

Mrs. V. Why, that was her mother's. How can it be 
hers! [Crosses to L.] Who was her father? [In thrilling 
tone] 

Mary. I don't know. 

Mrs. V. She does not bear his name, because because she 
has no father. 

Mary. But she must 

Mrs. V. No legal father. It is shocking. [ Crosses to R.] 

Mary. Who can he be ? 

Mrs. V. [Seizing her arm] I know him. I know him too 
well and he shall know I know him. [ Up and doivn stage.] 



32 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Mary. I hope that you will forgive me, that in following the 
promptings of a generous impulse, I have committed this folly. 
I regret having caused you unnecessary excitement. It will be 
a good lesson to me. I needed one. [Crosses to R.] 

Mrs. V. [Advancing to her.] Don't apologize, my child, 
you have done me a great service. I am not angry with you. 
Dark deeds will come to light. My duty now is to sift this 
mystery to the depths. [Wrings Mary's hand and going up c., 
aside.] Oh, Christopher ! Christopher ! What have you done ? 
[Exits, c. L.] 

Mary. [Solus] I do believe it's all Tom's fault. Hunting 
for a son he's found the father or rather looking for the father 
he's brought me the son. [Her face begins to brighten.] But 
Christopher here and not Silena's lover. I believe it's all for 
the best. He is free and seemed to take a great interest in every 
thing relating to me. Gracious me ! How much better I feel 
now that I'm not doing anything benevolent. [Pushes door open] 
Mr. Vandusen, we are alone. [ Comes down.] . 

KIT enters nervously, R. D. 

Kit. I suppose my mother entered into your views very 
promptly and thoroughly. I heard her talking quite forcibly. 

Mary. [Laughing.] There was a misunderstanding on both 
sides. 

Kit. Yes, I thought so from her tone. 

Mary. But never mind, it has made us acquainted oddly 
enough but let's be thankful all the same. 

Kit. Then we do not refer to the financial topic again. 

Mary. [Confused.'] Spare me. I deserve your ridicule. 
[Sits down and indicates sofa to him] Won't you be seated. I 
believe there is nothing more to detain you. 

Kit. [Sitting.] I'll go immediately. [Pause] Do you 
mean to send me away now ? [Rises] 

Mary. No not at all. [Rises embarrassed] Unless you 
wish [Sits he sits] to chat about 

Kit. [Drawing a little nearer to her.] I should dearly love to 
chat about 

Mary. You left the school and the village very suddenly. 

Kit. [ Quickly.] Before I could manage to procure an intro 
duction to you, I was summoned home to take a position that 
was offered 

Mary. I left suddenly, too, to take a new position for me 
that of an heiress. 

Kit. [Advances, sits next to her] I congratulate you with all 
my heart, you are so good. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 33 

Mary. How do you know I am so good ? 

Kit. [Moves closer.] You remember the first time I saw you, 
it was in church sifter all had gone you knelt and prayed. I 
don't believe any one could be guilty of wearing a mask in such 
a place. 

Mary. [Coquettishly.] Don't be too sure. I knew you were 
watching me. 

Kit. You knew it you felt it. [Embarrassed.] You have 
no family no friends? 

Mary. I am an orphan. [Pause, both look at the floor.] 

Kit. [Sighs] I suppose it is time for me to go. 

Mary. If you have business. 

Kit. Oh no! it's after four the office is closed. Besides, I 
took a half holiday to-day, and I'm spending it with you. 

Mary. [ Gives him her hand] I should like you to spend a 
whole holiday now and then with me. 

MR. VANDUSEN and SILENA appear, c., but seeing Kit and Mary, 
retreat, c. L. 

Kit. [Overjoyed] All if you'll let me. [Knock outride] 
Did you hear a knock ? [Rises] 

Mary. [Rises] It's strange ! Come in ! 

MR. VANDUSEN and SILENA appear at door, c., and look in. 

Vandusen. I beg your pardon. We found the front door 
open. Somebody must have- gone out in a hurry. We came to 
see Mr. Versus, the lawyer. [Recognizes Kit.] Why, my son, 
you here ? 

Silena. [Crosses to R. c., recognizes Mary] Good gracious! 
there's Mary Forrest [Running to her and embrace], the "Beauti 
ful." You know that's what we always called you. Our last 
teacher was the " Griffin," and the one before her was the " Cat." 

Mary. [R., embraces her heartily] Little Silena! I never 
knew your other name. [ They chat together vivaciomly] 

Van. [Coming down to Kit] What are you doing here 
with this young lady ? 

Kit. [Drawing Van. down, L.] Sh ! Don't you remember 
mother's plans for my settlement in life ? 

Van. [ Vigorously] Which I detest. 

Kit. I intend to meet her wishes fully. 

Van. [Sarcastically] What a good boy you are. But 
I won't have any such sacrifice. I'll set this matter right at 



34 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

once. [Turning to Mary.'] My dear young lady. [She comes 
down."] 

Kit. [Pulling his coat] Father, let me explain 

Van. [Trying to release his coat tails.] My dear young 
lady Let me alone. [To Kit] 

Kit. [Same business."] But I tell you 

Van. [Releasing himself ] I do not wish to be told I under 
stand everything. [To Mary] My dear 

Mary. [ Crosses to R. c.] If you are looking for Mr. Versus, 
his office is the next room. He has kindly surrendered his 
library to me. 

Van. [Loftily.'] I was in search of that gentleman, but 
at present my business is with you. 

Mary. With me? 

Van. And I beg a private interview for a few moments. 

Mary. With the greatest pleasure. 

Kit. Father, you will certainly do me a very great injury. 

Van. No, my boy. I'll prevent you doing yourself an 
injury. 

Mary. [To Kit.] Will you consent to be banished to that 
little room again ? [Pointing R.] 

Kit. [Crosses to her] I 

Mary. Are you afraid of what your father has to tell me ? 

Kit . [ Going to R.] I am afraid of nothing. [ Aside] All's 
lost. [Exits, R. D.] 

Van. [Perceiving Sil., who has been watching with interest] 
Have you got another room we can put this child into ? 

Mary. If you like she can take your message to Mr. Versus. 

Sil. [Alarmed] Oh, I couldn't. 

Van. The very thing. We have come to get a little mar 
riage settlement drawn up. She knows all about the names, 
ages, and other particulars of the delinquents, and can give the 
lawyer all the points. The delinquents will follow within half 
an hour to sign. 

SiL [Solemnly, c.] Papa, do you really intend to send me 
to the lawyer ? 

Van. Certainly he won't eat you. 

Mary. [Touching bell] We can call him. 

Sil. But, papa, I don't know anything about marriage set 
tlements. 

Van. You made the match and you had better see it 
through. [SiL. crosses to c. and up] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 35 

TOM enters gaily, L. D., crosses to R. c. 

Tom. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. [Stops, seeing 
SiL, aside.} The pretty sister ! 

Mary. [ Whispers to Tom.'] The May morning ? 

Tom. [Same.'] You are an angel ! 

Sil. [ Who has been remonstrating with her father. ] Oh ! 
[ Vexed.} 

Van. You will have to, and that's an end of it. 

Sil. I'll muddle it all up. 

Van. [Laughingly to Tom.] My daughter seems to have 
taken an extraordinary aversion to you. 

Tom. [Surprised.] Indeed ? 

Sil. [Pulling his sleeve.] Papa ! 

Van. Now go, and don't be foolish. 

Tom. [ Offering his arm.] I should be terrified and reluctant, 
my dear Miss Vandusen, for you are exceedingly dangerous to 
my peace of mind. 

Sil. Thank you ! [Exeunt, L. D.] 

Mary. Now we are alone. Mr. Vandusen, will you not be 
seated ? 

Van. [Loftily, L.] Thank you ! I shall be brief. What 
I have to say may not be very agreeable, and will be much more 
appropriately delivered standing. 

Mary. [Surprised.} Indeed, sir. [ Walks away a few steps.'] 

Van. Is it possible you do not blush to find yourself in 
this situation ? [She turns, astounded.} You are young rich 
and, I suppose, respectable. Cannot you wait until your destiny 
crowns your brow with the diadem of chaste and honorable 
matrimony ? What reason is there for you to anticipate it by a 
resort to disreputable and speculative means 

Mary. [Almost speechless.'} Sir ! this is monstrous ! You are 
out of your senses ! 

Van. My son is a good boy, but energy is not his charac 
teristic. He has my disposition heroic at the bottom ; but the 
heroism only rises at the strongest provocation. 

Mary. Well, sir ? 

Van. His mother is differently constituted. She has ordered 
him to provide for himself by a marriage with some wealthy 
young person. I must do him the justice to say that at 
first he resisted because he loved another. But in the end I 
find him here, ready to immolate himself in obedience to the ma 
ternal wishes. If I had not taken this opportunity to interfere, 
he would have married you and sealed his misery. 

Mary. [Amazed and mastering her emotion, which has been 



36 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

perceptible during the whole of the foregoing. ~\ Let me understand 
you. You say that your son came here in obedience to his 
mother's wishes. [ Crosses to L.] 

Van. To marry you, or rather your money. Ah ! the 
crime of such a union. Those who wed should give heart for 
heart, not buy and sell them ! To convince you let me tell you 
a story of real life. 

Mary. \_Impatient.~] I beg you'll spare me that old story 
about ISilena Summers. [ Crosses to R.] 

Van. [Dazed.] Eh ? 

Mary. [Re-crosses to L. during speech, excitedly to herself.] It 
was detestable to deceive me in that manner. Talking to me 
about the solemn tones of the organ and the language of the 
soul and all the while loving some one else and thinking of my 
money. [Sits L., leans her head on her arms and sobs] 

Van. [Aside] I've been too abrupt. It was cruel. [Aloud] 
Pray, don't grieve so, my dear. I was too severe. I beg your 
pardon. My only excuse is, I am a father who loves his 
children. 

Mary. [Rising and looking at him fiercely] All your children, 
sir? 

Van. All ? Of course, all ! I've only got two. 

Mary. [Hysterical bitterness] Two ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! Two ! 
Two ! 

Van. [Non-plumed] Ha ! ha ! ha ! [Leans brow on fin 
ger in severe effort to remember if there were more] 

Mary. [At door, R.] You are as false as the rest. With re 
gard to your son, however, I will soon set your paternal mind at 
rest. [Pushes door open and calls] Mr. Vandusen ! 

Enter KIT. 

Kit. [Aside] That tone bodes me no good. 

Mary. Take your son. I have nothing more to do with him. 
[ Up to c] 

Van. [Aside to Kit, c] Come, my boy, and remain true 
to your secret affection. 

Kit. [Excited, aside] Father, you would not hear my ex 
planations. This is the lady of whom I spoke. 

Van. [Amazed] The organ? the church? [Turns and 
looks at Mary] 

Mary. [Suppressing her tears forcibly] Farewell, sir ! We 
shall never see each other again. [Exits, C. R.] 

Kit. [Follows her to door, c ] Mary ! Miss Forrest ! All is 
over. [Comes down] And I was so happy ! [Crosses, agitated, 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 37 

by his father, on whom he turns suddenly. ,]. You have done very 
well. An excellent piece of business. {Down, L.] 

Van. [Soothingly] It's all for the best. 

Kit. [Indignant, crosses to R.] All for the best ? 

Van. [Taking his arm.'] You may be happy yet. 

Kit. [Softer.'] You believe it? 

Van. I'm* sure of it. There are dozens of girls every bit 
as nice. 

Kit. [Disengaging himself, paces to and fro; gets R.] You 
are trifling with me. 

Van. [Soothing and detaining him, with both arms clasped 
around him.'] Very well, very well ! You shall have this one. 
Don't despair. If you're true to her, you're sure of her. Ex 
plain and she'll forgive. Come, let's talk it over soberly on our 
way home. [Gets Kit's hat and his own] There is one thing, 
however, we ought to agree upon. [Nervously.] 

Kit. What is that? 

Van. To not mention what has taken place here to your 
mother. She always contends that when I undertake to rouse 
for action, I'm sure to do something foolish. We needn't furnish 
her with such convincing proof of the correctness of her opinion. 
[Exeunt, c. L.] 

SILENA, after slight pause, opens door, L., and peeps in. 

Silena. Why, where is papa ? This is the room where I left 
him. I never saw such a lawyer. He doesn't understand the 
least bit about law. Never asked me the names of aunt and her 
intended. Was very anxious to know mine. And he was so 
nervous. Kept continually mistaking my fingers for the pens, 
and grabbed them so. If I could find papa. '[Going up] 

TOM enters, L. D., carrying several sheets of paper and pencil in 

mouth. 

Tom. Oh ! there you are. 

Sil. [Retreating up and getting L.] I'm looking for papa. 

Tom. [At table] My notes of the contract are not finished. 
Will you be kind enough to proceed with your statement. [Sits 
at table and spreads papers] 

Sil. I will if you'll call in your clerk. For I won't stay 
with you alone. Not for anything. 

Tom. And why, if you please ? 

Sil. Because you're so very nervous and make grabs for me. 

Tom. [Steps forward] You are so beautiful that you confuse 
me. 



38 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Sil. [Starting from Aim.] If you don't go about your business 
immediately, I shall leave the room. 

Tom. It's all right. I am going about my business. Here's 
pencil and paper. Sit down. [Makes room for her on the sofa 
beside himself] 

.Sil. [Aside, deliberating.] I won't sit opposite him. I tried 
that, and he looked right through my eyes. If I sit away 
off, he'll move right up to me. [Looks round and sees law-books 
in case.'} I know what I'll do. [ Goes to case, R., twice, each time 
gets a pile of law-books and piles them in the middle of the so/a.] 

Tom. What are you doing with my law-books ? 

Sil. Are they law-books ? So much the better. The law 
shall protect me. [Sits down on the other side of books from him.] 
Do you see ? I am under the protection of the law. Now, go 
on with your questions. 

Tom. [Sending toward her] First ! Have you ever thought 
of love? 

Sil. [Rising, decided.] I am going. 

Tom. [Changing to business tone.] Why, that's all right. 
How do you suppose you can instruct me to draw up a marriage 
contract, unless you know what you're about. 

Sil. I do know what I'm about. 

Tom. And / am trying to ascertain the fact. 

SI. [Sitting timidly.] What do you want to know ? 

Tom. [Ardently] Tell me, I implore you, have you ever 
loved ? 

Sil. [Rising] Again ? 

Tom. [ Changing tone, and rapidly.] I merely wished to show 
what questions are unnecessary. As matter of strict law you 
are not bound to answer. You understand? I see you do. 

Sil. I don't ! 

Tom. Ah! Well, it's of no consequence. What's the name 
of the bride ? [ Writing.] 

Sil. Miss Theodosia Heffron. 

Tom. Bridegroom ? 

Sil. Mr. Nicholas Geagle. 

Tom. [ Writing] The vast and varied experiences of human 
life furnish no more sublime spectacle than the union of two 
beings who love each other fervently. [SiL. involuntarily 
takes one of the law-books, opens it, shuts it without reading it, 
transfers it to her left hand, with which she places it on her left side; 
this she does alternating with Tom several times. TOM, as if pre 
occupied, lays his pencil down and leans back; goes through the 
same operation with the books, alternating with Sil., both very 
slowly, he laying them aside on his right, and talking all the while 
as if to himself] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 39 

Tom. His soul yearns for her presence, her heart throbs at 
his approach. 

Sil. [To herself, looking at him.'] What a remarkable docu 
ment he's getting up. 

Tom. [Same business.] Love is the sunshine of human ex 
istence. It warms the heart, beautifies the world, and makes the 
universe teem with joy. It is the key to the mystic language of 
the soul, which we must possess in order to fitly communicate 
with the kindred being destined to share our lot. 

Sil. [Who has listened intently.'] How well he expresses 
himself. I can understand every word. 

Tom. How wretched must that creature be who has never 
learned to love. Alone uiicomprehended, tortured by the dull 
round of petty cares, ignorant of a blessed recompense living 
without knowing the true principle of existence, an uncultured 
flower, an unsought gem, an unrhymed line in the fragment we 
call life. Oh, how I should have mourned to have lived without 
loving without having found an echo for the voice of my heart. 
[Turns to her and in low tone.] Silena! Do you understand 
me? When you pictured the man you felt you could love, and 
saw him in your dreams, was he so different from me, Silena? 

Sil. [Jumps up as if from a spell] The books are gone ! 

Tom. [Seizing her hand.] Silena ! Answer me. 

Sil. [ Wringing her hands] Oh, that contract, will it never 
be finished? 

MARY enters, c. 

Mary. You here yet, Silena? [Ton begins to work furiously] 

Sil. '[Running to her.] I was waiting for papa. Please stay 
with me 'till he comes. 

Mary. Why! you look frightened. [To Tom] What does 
it mean? 

Tom. [Covering his head with papers] I can't possibly im 
agine. 

Sil. He draws up such strange contracts it makes me grow 
hot and cold to listen. 

Mary. That's it! is it? A poor child's heart fluttering near 
one of the traps set by the designing creature called man. Silena ! 
believe nothing they tell you- they lie and deceive all of them 
this one not" an hour ago proposed to my half million. 
. Tom. [Angrily, rising] This is too bad of you. 

Sil. [Half pouting] I am mistaken in him. I never met 
him before this morning, when he gave me his card, and I took 
him for a talented, conscientious and accomplished young nu:n 



40 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Avlio wanted clients, and I intended to make papa give him all 
his business. I would have done the same for any young lawyer, 
or baker, or shoemaker. [Half sobbing.'] But I am deceived. 
I believe he's an old hand. I am sorry I took any interest in 
him. [Severely to Tom.~\ For he's got nothing attractive about 
him. Not a single recommendation. [Exits sobbing, c. L.] 

Tom. [Enraged, to Mary.~\ That was exceedingly kind of you. 

Mary. You are like all your sex, perfectly heartless without 
apparently being conscious df the fact. From this time forth I 
shall make it my duty to warn every girl I meet to tear the 
mask from their deceivers to save them. [Exits, R. D.] 

Tom. [Calling after her.] They don't want to be saved! 
[Comes down.] I must say I feel exceedingly cheap. It's too 
bad, just as I was beginning to feel that I was sincere to mean 
every word I was saying honestly. I see how it will be. Back 
to my old resolutions shun the sex, fly marriage rail at the 
fool that yields. Just look at those books. All I've gained is 
the job of putting them up again. [Buttons his coat] I'll take 
hold of that divorce now, and if I don't have the parties a 
thousand miles apart in less than a week, I'm a Dutchman ! 
[Exits, L. D., in passion] 

JONAH appears, c. 

Jonah. This way, mum ; he brought his papers in here a little 
while ago. 

DOSIE enters, c., elaborate street toilette. 

Dosie. We want Mr. Versus. 

Jon. [Looks around] Why ! he isn't here ! 

Dosie. We can wait, thank you. [Goes back to c. and calls 
off] Nicholas, darling this way ! Come along! 

Geagle. [ Outside] It's all very well to say come along, but 
these confounded bundles 

Dosie. [To Jon] Would you have any objection to assist 
Mr. Geagle in with his bundles? We've been shopping and he 
would bring everything himself. Ah! he's all right. [Comes 
down] 

Jon. Yes, ma'am! He's doing famously. 

GEAGLE enters, c., arms full of bundles, carrying fancy parasol over 
his head, open. 

Geagle. Where do we go now ? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 41 

Dosie. [R.] Are you sure you haven't dropped anything? 

Geagle. Just count 'em, will you. They kept slipping one 
after another, as if they were all alive. [ They slide off on floor. 
DOSIE flutters around him counting^} 

Geagle. Is the lawyer in ? 

Dosie. [Continuing her count] Thirteen, fourteen, fifteen. 
They're all right. What did you say ? [Sweetly."] 

Geagle. [Sulkily."] I asked if the lawyer was in. 

Dosie. Oh ! goodness knows. Sit down, darling you look 
tired. 

Geagle. Do I ? That's remarkable ! I am tired. [$ife.] 
Phew ! [ Takes off his hat and polishes his head with his handker 
chief.'] Do you know it's an awful relief not to have to wear 
that wig any more ? I always felt like a perambulating tarra- 
diddle while I had it on. But when you insisted I should wear 
it no longer since I had won you without it I felt as though I 
could do anything you asked me in return. 

Dosie. It was a duck to go shopping with its lovey-dovey. 
What a heavenly day we've had. A girl needs so many things 
when she's going to get married. I believe I look a perfect 
fright. Am I too red, dear ? 

Geagle. [Back towards her.~] I guess not. 

Dosie. Oh! yes I am. [Takes out pocket-glass and powder- 
puff, looks around at Jon.'] You can tell Mr. Versus we are 
here. 

Jon. Yes, ma'am ! [Exits, shuffling^} 

Geagle. I'm rather glad the lawyer isn't in. 

Dosie. [Patting his chin.'] It was an old goosey, and now 
you must tell me what you've been worried about all day. Don't 
deny it. I saw you looking very, very serious several times. It 
wasn't the lobster salad, darling, was it ? 

Geagle. [ Gravely."] No-o-o ! 

Dosie. Tell it's sweetheart. I know it is something. 

Deagle. Well, the fact is we're going to that ball 

Dosie. Oh, Geagle! I've got my domino and my mask. 
We'll have a lovely time. 

Geagle. Got your disguise ? 

Dosie. Yes ! You've got yours ? 

Geagle. Yes do you want to see it? [Takes a false nose 
from his pocket."] There, do you think any one will know me 
with that on ? 

Dosie. Is that all you are going to wear ? [He looks at tier 
indignantly and then turns away."] Well, now put it on, and let 
me see how it looks. 

Geagle. No, I can't put it on now somebody might come in. 



42 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Dosie. Oh, now. I want to see you in it. 

Geagle. There! [Puts nose on.] 

Dosie. You shall dance the first quadrille with me. 

Geagle. I don't know the first quadrille. I never danced a 
quadrille in all my life. 

Dosie. I can teach you in one lesson. We'll try it now. 
Nobody will see us. 

Geagle. Oh, I'm afraid ! The lawyer might look in. 

Dosie. Just look at me. [Lifts skirts to show steps.~\ One, 
two, three one, two, three one, two, three. [Dances.] 

Geagle. That seems easy enough. [Hitches up his trousers 
and tries it.'] One, two, three one, two, three [Kicks his 
corn.] Oh ! It's no use, I can't manage anything but a horn 
pipe, such as I used to see the sailors dance on the stage when I 
was a boy. 

Dosie. Well, let's try one now. 

Geagle. What, you can't dance a hornpipe? [DosiE nods.~] 
What here? 

Dosie. Yes, nobody will see us. 

Geagle. No ! I'll stand around with the rest of the boys in 
a dress suit and look pretty. I'll be a wall flower. 

Dosie. But just a little hornpipe now. [GEAGLE, after some 
persuasion, yields ; they dance. JONAH enters at beginning and 
finally does some steps of his own up stage. After the dance, they 
drop on sofa exhausted. JON. has picked up all the books.] 

TOM enters, L. D., at end of dance, L. 

Tom. Well, sir. What do you want ? [JoN. runs off, L. D.] 

Geagle. [Crosses to him] We want to see the lawyer. 

Tom. [ Walks around him in amazement.'] I'm the lawyer, I 
suppose. 

Geagle. [ Goes to him and whispers in his ear.] We came for 
the papers. 

Tom. [Getting away from him.~\ What papers? 

Geagle. The contract! The marriage settlement! [ToM 
looks him hard in the face, then pulls his false nose down and 
leaves it sticking on his chin.] 

Tom. Are you the culprits that are going to be married? 

Geagle. [ With dignity crosses to c] Yes, sir. I am one, and 
this is the bride. 

Tom. I draw no more marriage settlements. I make no 
more creatures wretched you a grey-headed man 

Geagle. Sir ! 

Tom. [Snatching his hat off] Well, then a no-headed I 
mean a bald headed man 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 43 

Dosie. Oh ! 

Tom. Whose placid countenance has been petrified by the 
blessings of a bachelor life. You [Steps forward. GEAGLE 
retreats behind Dosie] You give into the hands of one of those 
creatures called woman [Crosses to c] 

Dosie. Who do you call woman ? 

Tom. The legal power to disturb your holy quietude of life, 
to distort the serene outlines of your face with anger, fright and 
fear ; to rob you of means money, friends, freedom everything. 
You are standing on the brink of an abyss. Draw back before 
the fatal plunge. [Crosses to L.] 

Dosie. He calls me an abyss. Help ! Oh ! [ Gives a shriek 
and drops in a heap, supported by GEAGLE, whose clasp has 
slipped up to her arm-pits. 1 

Geagle. [Indignantly.] Look here I say see what you've 
done. [To Dosie."] Look up, my darling! Look up. [Tries 
to lift her.~\ This is a nice situation. [ Gives her a sudden jerk.'] 
It's no go. I can't lift her. [ To Dosie, with a shade less tender 
ness.] Look up! [To Tom.] Young man, you've got this lady 
on your conscience. I wish you had her on your back. [Jerks 
at Dosie savagely and with vigor] Look up! [Gazes over into 
her face] I believe she's dead. Look up! 

Tom. Dead? No fear of that. She won't die before she's 
married, nor afterwards. 

Geagle. Look up! [Jerks at Dosie.] Look up! Heavens 

'and earth! What shall I do with her? Look up? [ JONAH 

enters, L. D., and gets around to table, R. DOSIE at his next jerk 

suddenly straightens up with a shriek and GEAGLE throws her into 

Tom's arms and falls back exhausted against Jonah. TOM throws 

Dosie back and JONAH throws Geagle back. DOSIE totters to and 

falls in chair, GEAGLE same] 



CURTAIN. 



44 NEEDLES AND PINS. 



ACT III. 



SCENE. Garden, decorated for the masquerade ball. Flags, 
banners, armorial insignia, exotics in tubs, etc. A centre 
piece of plants with rustic seat around it. Music distant; loud 
when no one on scene speaking. Scene opens with procession 
oj maskers R. to L. and off. 

MR. VANDUSEN discovered in evening dress, seated c., eating ice 
cream. When all are off speaks. 

Vandusen. If I were not so apprehensive as to what is coming, 
I'd enjoy myself exceedingly in this place. It's just twenty-five 
years since I've been out alone. How jolly it is only I have an 
occasional hot and cold change when I remember my mysterious 
appointment for this evening. I'm trying to keep cool on a 
third plate of cream. I believe I'll try another. 

WAITER appears, L. 

Ah ! waiter ! Bring me another cream. 

Waiter. [Surprised, Dutch dialect.'] That's three. 

Van. I suppose you have got another? 

Waiter. Oh, yes, sir! But it's lucky you're taking yours 
now. When the rush commences if every gent orders four 
plates 

Van. That's why I get all I can at present. I anticipate the 
rush. 

Waiter [Takes dish.'] All right, sir ! [Exits, L.] 

Van. [Looks around uneasily."] What can be the matter ? 
[Takes billet doux cautiously from his pocket and reads."] " Dear 
Christopher : I must see you once more before I die. I have 
something of the utmost importance to tell you. If you attach 
any value to the memories of the past, meet me at the masquerade 
to-night between 11 and 12 near the supper room. Your Silena." 
[Puts billet away.~] The poor thing must be very much changed. 
She forgets that we never were so intimate as to write each other 
as "Dear Christopher" or "Dear Silena." Well, it's twenty- 
five years ago and that explains. In my thoughts she was always 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 45 

" Dear Silena." [Looks around.'] It's extremely fortunate that 
my wife refused positively to come. I will take the occasion to 
talk seriously to Silena and insist on my family's account that 
she shall not address me in the future. She may think of me as 
much as she pleases I have nothing to say against that. I 
think of her, but somewhat as I think of my youth, as something 
that I can never return to. 

WAITER enters, L., with cream. 

Waiter. Here you are, sir. 

Van. [Paying^] And here's your money. [WAITER about 
to exit.] 

TOM VERSUS enters, R. u. E., in evening dress and stops waiter. 

Tom. Two orange ices in box five 

Waiter. Box five, sir ? Yes, sir. [Exits, L.] 

Tom. [R.] Ah ! Mr. Vandusen. How do you do ? 

Van. [Eating.] Mr. Versus, I believe. You are an extra 
ordinary attorney and counsellor-at-law to refuse to draw up 
marriage settlements. 

Tom. Principle, my dear sir. As far as my experience goes, 
marriage is a short lane, with a wedding at one end and a divorce 
at the other. I cannot conscientiously assist people to pay so 
heavily for such a short excursion. [Crosses to L.] By the way, 
I suppose the happy pair are here this evening ? 

Van. Oh, certainly ! With my daughter. They are in 
black dominoes. 

Tom. Like everybody else there are fifty black dominoes 
here to-night. [WAITER crosses L. to R. with ice.] How do 
you recognize your party ? 

Van. By the color of the bouquets in their collars, white and 
yellow roses. Miss Silena's is white and Miss Heffron's is yellow. 
[Laughs and winks.'] Got yellow by lying so long on the shelf. 

WAITER enters, R., and crosses to L., VAN. speaks to him. 

I think I'll take another cream, waiter! 

Waiter. What another! All right, sir! 

Van. [Imitating him.] Yes, another! I feel a flush in the 
back yet. [Exits after waiter, L.] 

Tom. Black domino with white roses. I shall find it. I'm 
a changed man since I met that girl. Can't rest, can't sleep 
see her everywhere. Provoking, refusing, denying, delightful 



46 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

May morning. I'll have to give in; have no defence against 
her charms, can't demur, don't object, and she takes me in exe 
cution body, soul and senses. [Exits, R. u. E.] 

GEAGLE without, L. 

Geagle. I give you my word of honor. [Enters, L. u. E., fol 
lowed by SERGEANT OF POLICE, an extremely gentlemanly official.] 
You are utterly mistaken ; I did not intend the slightest impro 
priety, I assure you. 

Sergeant. [L., looking at him steadily] Several ladies in 
masks have complained about it. You go up to them as if you 
were about to whisper something and then kiss them on the ear. 

Geagle. [Indignantly.] Kiss them on the ear? I assure you, 
Sergeant, I have not nursed the ruthless passion that would lead 
to violence of that description for a great number of years. My 
intentions were wholly mistaken. The facts are that the lady I 
came with forgot her fan and sent me home for it. I'm looking 
for her that's all. It's exceedingly hard to pick one black domino 
out of a thousand. I thought I had her several times, but on 
attempting to whisper the signal agreed on, "Your Nicholas is 
here," I found I had caught the wrong pig by the ear. 

Serg. It sounds exceedingly flimsy, Nicholas, and I warn you 
for the last time, that if I hear another complaint your name 
will be taken and you will be ejected from the building and 
don't you forget it. [Exits, R. 1 E.] 

Geagle. [ Wiping his forehead] This is the first time I ever 
incurred the censure of the police. But I don't care somehow 
I grow desperate. As the happy day approaches I feel miserable. 
For two days I've been dragged around the city like a like a 
Well, the only creature who seemed to suffer in a like manner 
was a poodle on a string led by just such another foolish old 
[Checks himself, blows his nose] Well, a man can't make a 
supreme ass of himself but once in his lifetime, and I've done it. 
Havn't been near the club since I was engaged am worked like 
a district messenger boy. We hardly got here when I was sent 
back for a fan she forgot. Walked all the way and I'm used up. 
[$!&.] It's a most extraordinary thing that a woman of her age 
should try to imitate the airs of a kitten. I don't like it I don't 
want it. If I wanted a kitten I'd have gone in my back yard 
and looked on the fence for one. I selected a middle-aged 
person and she's playing fifteen on me. 

TOM strolls in again, R. u. E. 
Tom. How are you, Mr. Geagle? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 47 

Geagle [Aside, R.] Here's that monkey grinning at me again. 
[Aloud.] I'm pretty well! 

Tom. Your bride is not dead yet, I suppose? 

Geagle. No, sir ! She got over it finely. 

Tom. [Looking off, L.] I should say so she's coming this 
way in uncommon spirits. [Strolls R. in arbor."] 

Geagle. [Ande."} If she comes the kitten over me again, I'll 
try the cat and we'll come to the scratch in no time. 

DOSIE enters with SILENA, L. u. E., each masked and with black 
dominoes as they enter the CAT and FROG jump up and 
frighten them then strut off arm in arm, L. DOSIE wears 
a bunch of yelloiv roses and SIL. white. They unmask as soon 
as they enter. SIL. stays at back and looks L. and R. as if in 
search of some one. 

Dosie. [Perceiving Geagle, comes down vexed.'] Where have 
you been all the time, Nicholas ? 

Geagle. [Sulkily, L.] I've been looking for you half an 
hour. 

Dosie. Did you get my fan? 

Geagle. [Draws it out of his pocket done up in brown paper. .] 
Here it is. 

Dosie. [Unrolls it and throws paper aivay with disgust.'] I 
wish I had told you to bring my bottle of salts. I declare, I 
don't know what's coming to me, I forget so but you can go for 
it now. 

Geagle. [R.] Do you mean to say I'm to go back to the 
house for your salts again ? 

Dosie. [Loftily.'] You hesitate? 

Geagle. [Pause] I'm tired to death. You are driving me 
like a cart horse. [Sinks on seat, c] 

Dosie. [Instantly beginning to wheedle and patting his cheek.~\ 
Excuse it's ducky darling she's so excited. The happiness of 
being your wife makes her forget everything and everybody but 
you. You drive me into wandering, you naughty man. [ Geagle 
evidently begins to relent] You will go for your deary deary 
poor little bridy pidy and get the botty of salts won't 
oo? 

Geagle. [Rising.'] If you talk like that, I don't mind going 
anywhere. Where is it ? What's it like ? Big bottle ? 

Dosie. No, little. You'll know it by the smell, darling 

g \VGCt 

Geagle. [Going, L.] I'll know it by the smell all right. 
I'll be back as soon as I can. [Aside buttons coat.] On my 



48 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

way back, I'll stop in at the club and have a little hot spiced 
Jamaica, I really need something to brace me up. [Exits, L. 1 E.] 

TOM enters rapidly, having perceived SIL., who puts on her mask 
and comes down he hovers about trying to speak to her. 

Dosie. Where can your father be, Silena ? 

Silena. [R.] I don't know, aunty. 

Tom. [Coming down.~\ He's in the supper-room I if you'll 
allow 

Dosie. [Measures Tom with a withering look, and moves to L.] 
Come, child. [ As she is about to exit, the FROG, CAT and CLOWN 
run on and frighten her. SERGEANT enters and arrests Clown and 
Frog. CAT has gone R. He marches prisoners, crosses to R. 
CLOWN escapes he seizes Cat by the tail and lugs Cat and Frog 
off, R. CLOWN takes his hat and club and marches off, L. 1 E.] 
DOSIE off.l 

Tom. [Stopping Sil.] Beautiful lady, let me entreat a word 
with you. 

Sil. [Assuming a false voice and angry tone.~\ Don't be so 
familiar with me, sir. 

Tom. Familiar ? Why, this is a masquerade everything's 
fair. 

Sil. I forbid you to use such freedom with me. 

Tom. Why do you treat me so coolly ? 

Sil. [Sits c.] The millionaire young lady you proposed to 
set me the example. 

Tom. [Sits R. of Sil.'] You are unjust. Miss Forrest had 
some excuse. I renounced her half million for your sake. And 
this is how you appreciate the sacrifice. 

Sil. What assurance ! There never was such a brazen law 
yer before. 

Tom. Do you always speak the truth ? 

Sil. Always. 

Tom. Then tell me didn't you come to this ball solely on 
my account? 

Sil. I never thought of you. [Hangs her head as he looks at 
herJ] 

Tom. You are indeed a miracle of truthfulness. Such a 
candid honest and frank girl is hard to find. 

Sil. [Tormented.'] You are unbearable. [Rises.~] I wish 
you would go. 

Tom. So you really want to have nothing to do with me ? 

Sil. I don't ever want to know you. 

Tom. All right. We shall see which sticks to his colors long- 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 49 

est. For my part, from this moment, I intend to do all in my 
power for you. I will go to your father and mother to your 
father then your mother no first to your mother and after 
wards to your father [SiL. gets impatient.'} and ask them for 
your hand. 

Sil. [Angrily. ~] Do you call that doing something for me. 
[Crosses to R.] 1 wish you would leave off jesting. 

Tom. You surprise me. Call marriage a jesting matter? 
But never mind, my programme is laid out. First your brother 
shall be made happy. 

Sil. My brother ? 

Tom. Yes. I have a little plan that I intend to pwt in 
operation immediately. Then you 

Sil. [Mock seriousness.] Do think of yourself a little. 

Tom. I only covet the satisfaction of doing good. [Laughs.] 
Au revoir ! We shall meet at the altar. [Exits, R.] 

Sil. His defects are a certain obtrusiveness and persistence; 
but apart from them I can't deny he is clever and funny and 
you can't get angry with him. Just as you begin to, he gets you 
so interested that you Want to know what he's got to say, and 
then he comes out with more impudence and makes you mad, 
and then begins to talk again ; and so it goes on and on in such 
a whirl that when he's gone its quite dull and stupid. Heigh 
ho! he manages to have his own way, so that if he insists on 
marrying me, I think he will. [The CAT, close behind her, R., 
meows in her ear. She turns in fright, L., the FROG jumps at her. 
CLOWN drives them both off, R.] 

DOSIE enters unmasked, L. 

Dosie. Why didn't you come. I've had an ice. It was so 
refreshing. 

Sil. I wanted to rest here. [Rises] You know, aunt, that 
in spite of our masks, a great many people know us. 

Dosie. Why, did you mean to remain unknown ? I don't 
think that's the object of a masquerade, at all. 

Sil. But where's the mystification and the fun, then ? 

Dosie. Do you want to mystify anybody ? 

Sil. Certainly. And if you'll make an exchange with me, I 
think I can. 

Dosie. AVhat exchange, my dear? 

Sil. [Takes off her roses] Take my white roses and give me 
vour yellow ones. 

Dosie. With the greatest pleasure. [In affected tone.] The 

4 



50 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

perfume of this yellow rose is rather strong for my poor nerves. 
[Exchanges bouquets with Sil] 

Sil. [Fastening hers on.~\ Mr. Geagle will know you, any 
way. 

Dosie. Oh, I don't care for that. I shall enjoy myself flit 
ting from flower to flower. He can have his fun flitting after 
me. 

Sil. He will be very happy when you're married. 

Dosie. He ? Oh, certainly. But shall I be happy ? I 
begin to fear he's too old for me. [/Sighs, crosses to L.] 

SU. Somebody is coming. [Both mask] 

* 

TOM enters, R., running, crosses to C., stops, looks at both dresses, 
and then to Dosie, offering arm. 

Tom. I've found your brother, and I've found Mary. He's 
all right. And I've put my little plan in motion. Let's go and 
watch them make up. [DosiE throws an indignant glance at him 
and goes up is met by Mephistofeles. She takes his arm and exits, 

R. U. E.] 

Sil. [Patting her hand through his arm and holding him 
tightly while he looks after Dosie, and in assumed voiced] Won't 
you stay with me ? I ve no one to talk to. 

Tom. [Aside.] The aunt ! Bah ! [J7<md.] You must 
excuse me. I have something particular to say to your com 
panion. 

Sil. Do you know her ? 

Tom. I am happy to say I do. 

Sil. You are in love with her ? 

Tom. It's natural I should be. 

Sil. Why, she is a mere child ! 

Tom. Old age is no especial recommendation. 

Sil. Do you mean that as a fling at me ? 

Tom. Geagle's looking for you. He'll be jealous. [Crosses 
to R] 

SU. Never mind, I want to keep you away from my little 
niece. You'll be turning her head. 

Tom. I wish I could. 

Sil. Answer me do you intend to marry her? 

Tom. I suppose it'll have to come to that. As I would go 
through fire and water for your niece, I don't see why I shouldn't 
go through matrimony for her. [Runs off, R. 1 E.] 

Sil. [Clapping her hands.] He loves me. [Suddenly] But 
I'll tease him a little. He's very easily spoiled, and must be 
managed with great care, if I expect to train him for a hus 
band. [Exits in arbor, L. 1 E.] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 51 

Music, and MASQUERS enter for quadrille and nursery-rhymes, 
after which, when all are off, MARY FORREST enters, R. u. E., 
letter in hand, removes mask, looks hurriedly about, replaces 
mask as KIT VANDUSEN enters as if following her, with a 
letter in his hand. He looks at his letter then at her. She 
same. She wears a black domino.] 

Duet [from Boccacio']. 

Strange request indeed, and unexpected, 
Yet methinks the author I've detected, 
Something tells my beating heart 
We are not far apart, 
I know we are 
On this the spot selected. 
If I rudely shun the proffered meeting, 
She'll mistake my reasons for retreating ; 
When in truth my only fear 
Is that the writer is not here. 
What can it be 
, He wants with me ? 
Here lie adjures me 
To come and assures me 
Something of weight 
He has to state. 

This puzzles me what can it be ? 
'Tis he (she) what delight, 
I knew I was right, 
I'm in such a fright. 
Yes, 'tis he (she), 
Oh, yes, it is she (he). 
What delight your kindness to-night, 
How can I requite. 
I'm here as you see, 
What can he have to say, etc. 

[After the .duet they sit back, c.] 

Kit. [R.] First, let me thank you for this opportunity of 
speaking with you alone. 

Mary. I am perfectly willing to hear all you have to say. 

Kit. A last interview was indispensable to us, whose friend 
ship began so happily and ended so abruptly. 

Mary. I am glad to hear you admit that it's at an end. It 
saves us much trouble. 

Kit. Yes, it's at an end. All we have to do now is to look 
back. I was weak to yield to my mother's wishes. I sinned 
against my affections and my convictions. But I have the right 
to show you that a majority of the world would have approved 
my act. How many women have married so. 



52 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Mary. This is the difference in the cases. Women have often 
nothing but marriage to depend on. Men have themselves. 
[Mask on] 

G EAGLE enters, L. u. E., coat collar turned up, pants turned up, 
rubber overshoes, too large for him, very smiling. 

Geagle. Back again ! [Smacks his lips."} That hot spiced 
Jamaica really did me good. I took three of 'em. It was 
freezing cold, and now it's glowing. [Sees Mary.] There she 
is. I'll whisper the signal in her ear. [Manoeuvres around 
behind her. While doing so the I^ERGEANT OF POLICE enters, L., 
evidently following GEAGLE, watches him, his hands behind him.] 

Geagle. [Sending down, whispers.] Nicholas is here. 

Mary. [Starting up] What ? 

Kit. [jtising and down c] What do you want? 

Geagle. [Alarmed] It's not Dosie ! 

Kit. What do you mean, sir. [He and MARY go to seat, c] 

Geagle. This is simply devilish. This makes half a dozen 
mistakes since I came in. 

Sergeant. [Advancing, R.] Now I guess I'll stop your little 
game. [GEAGLE turns, horrified] It won't work any longer. 
I spotted you myself, and I see what you're up to. 

Geagle. [R. c., after looking at him in a dazed manner, draws 
the flacon of salts from his pocket, removes stopper and mechanically 
takes a whiff. It staggers him] Ach! Ugh! Oh! [Holds 
bottle out at arms length toward Serg.] 

Serg. [Looks at bottle] What's all this ? [ Takes a sniff that 
nearly lifts his head off] Ugh ! Ach ! Oh ! Cork it ! Cork 
it ! [GEAGLE corks it at arms length] That's a healthy drug 
to carry concealed on your person. Why it would blow the 
door off an iron safe. [Stage, R., draws club] 

Geagle. She said I'd know it by the smell. It's only smelling 
salts. The lady I'm engaged to forgot 'em, and sent me back. 

Serg. [Collars him.] The old game again. It's T. T., old 
man, you'll just come with me to the office. 

Geagle. [Frightened] Are you going to run me in ? [ To 
Kit] Kit, tell him I'm a respectable person. 

Serg. [ To Kit] Do you know this party ? 

Kit. [Advancing] Yes, he intends to become my uncle. 

Serg. Then you must both come with me, if you want to get 
him out to-night. 

Geagle. It's the first time I was ever collared by a policeman. 
I deserve it. A man of my age to get married. " Needles and 
pins, needles and pins, when a man marries his trouble begins." 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 53 

Needles and pins! Egad! Handcuffs and jails. [To Serg.] 
You needn't hold me up by the collar-band. [SERG. release*.] 
I'll go anywhere. [Tarns down his collar and pants, and seen 
rubbers.] These are not my rubbers. I must have changed 
with somebody by mistake. [Hand* them to Serg."] Sergeant, 
these are not my rubbers, take them to the Club, will you. 
[ The SERG. threatens.'] 

Kit. [To Mary, aside.] Wait for me, I entreat you. I shall 
be back immediately. Come, uncle. [Takes his arm and hur 
ries him off, L. -u. E., impetuously, SERG. following rapidly. 
Music.] 

Mary. [Unmasking.] No. I will not remain. It will end 
by my yielding against my own convictions. [Looks round] 
This is my opportunity. I can regain the box. [Exits, R.] 

DOSIE enters, R., nervously, unmasked. 

Dosie. Nicholas does not return, and Mr. Versus pursues me 
like my shadow. He pours the most ardent proposals into my 
ear with a passion, an impulse, an eloquence that carry all before 
them. Oh, Geagle, Geagle, why did you leave your Dosie so 
long. There is danger, Geagle. [&'/.] I would like to find 
out if he knows who I am. It seems as if he did, though I 
refused to answer his entreaties. [Sighs.] If I had not accepted 
Geagle so precipitately. But I'm not married yet. It's not too 
late. [Pats on mask.] 

KIT re-enters, L. u. E., sees Dosie, mistakes her for Mary. 

Kit. Still here, my darling? [Sits beside her.] Thanks, a 
thousand thanks. This is a token that you forgive me. I so 
accept it. [Seizes her hand.] 

Dosie. [Aside.] My nephew. [Pulls her hand away.] 

Kit. Don't rob me of all hope. 

MR.. VANDUSEN enters, L. 1 E. 

Kit. [Rising.] Father, join your prayers to mine. You 
were the innocent cause of my distress, help me to regain this 
angel. 

Vandusen. [Sitting on R. of her.] My dear, it is your duty 
to pardon. My son loves you. Don't throw away an honest heart, 
or you may fare like my old sister-in-law, who got so ancient and 
was so afraid of dying an old maid, that she took up at last with 
a bald-headed bachelor. [DosiE bounces on seat. KIT and 
VAN. each take one of her hands ] 



54 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Kit. Oh, speak, dearest. 

Van. Say you forgive. 

Dosie. [Jumping up and tearing off her .mask] Yes, I'll 
speak ! I'll forgive you ! Whom do you take me for? 

Kit. [Rising quickly. 1 Aunt Dosie! I beg pardon. I 
thought it was Mary. [Huns to R.] Where has she gone ? 
[Exits, R. 2 E.] 

Dosie. [Turns to Van., who looks at her puzzled.] Your "old 
sister-in-law." Thank you. You will please to remember that 
I am the younger sister of your wife, and that in a few days I 
shall be a young bride. [Replaces mask and exits skipping, L. 1 E.] 

Van. [Solus.] If she could poison me now, she'd do it. 
These confounded black dominoes look so like one another. 
[Rising and looking at watch] The hour of the rendezvous, 
twelve o'clock, is past and Silena has not come. She has 
thought better of it. Concluded to stay at home and go to bed. 
Sensible woman. I think I'll try a piece of cake. If she's not 
here by the time I finish it, I'll go home and go to bed too. 
[Exits, L. 1 E.] 

GEAGLE and SERGEANT enter, L. u. E. 

Sergeant. I hope this warning will do you good. Don't try 
that manoeuvre on again. We have strict orders to stamp out 
the least impropriety. 

Geagle. I'm actually afraid now to stir a step in search of 
my future bride. The first time I think I've got her there'll be 
an impropriety, and you'll want to stamp me out. 

Serg. You'd better come with me, then. I'll help you to 
look her up. [Crosses to R.] 

Geagle. [Takes his arm] You're an angel. A blue-coated 
and brass-buttoned angel. You ought to be Superintendent. 
Honest, now. Haven't you often thought so yourself? 

Serg. Well, yes. 

Geagle. [Aside] I knew it! They all do. 

Serg. But, I say, arn't you afraid of your friends seeing you 
walking with me? 

G eagle. No. You are much superior to the average of the 
force. Besides, you haven't got me, I've got you. That makes 
all the difference. [Exeunt, R. 2 E. Music.] 

MRS. VANDTJSEN enters in black domino, mask in hand. Looks 
around cautiously. 

Mrs. Vandusen. It's dreadfully warm, and I'm so frightened. 
Will he keep the appointment I madein the letter. He received 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 55 

it. I know that, for I searched his pockets last night. The 
serpent, to sleep with that letter and never tell me. So far my 
suspicions are correct. He is capable of deceiving me. I shall 
not force his secret. I'll discover who that daughter is. Then 
let him beware. Some one is coming. 



MR. VANDUSEN enters, L. 1 E., in good humor, watch in hand. 

Vandusen. Time's up, and she won't come. Notwithstanding 
that last cake, I feel as light and happy 

Mrs. V. [Lays her hand on his shoulder.] Hist ! 

Van. [Startled.'] Who's that? [Turns.] Here she is! 
[Crosses to Rj 

Mrs. V. [Assumed voice.] Christoper! Dear Christopher! 

Van. [Aside] How her voice has changed ! [Aloud.] 
Madam, permit me to correct you. I am not your " Dear Chris 
topher," and I am willing to believe you are laboring under an 
hallucination. 

Mrs. V. [Aside.] He seems very cool. [Aloud] Oh ! how 
you have changed, Christopher. 

Van. Yes, I have grown old, and I hope you have learned 
how to do so. If not, I pity you from my heart. 

Mrs. V. Have you forgotten the past ? 

Van. By no means. Let us sit down and talk about it. 
[ They sit, c.] How have you been all the while ? 

Mrs. V. Well and ill as fate used me. Often ill, very ill. 

Van. I'm sorry for that. 

Mrs. V. And these twenty-five years, in which we have not 
met, how have they passed with you ? 

Van. Better than I could have hoped. I did my duty ; a re 
flection that consoled me when I thought once my heart would 
break. 

Mrs. V. But you married ? 

Van. Yes. 

Mrs. V. Have you been happy? 

Van. Much more than I deserved. 

Mrs. V. Indeed! 

Van. Yes, I learned to respect and honor my wife, who was 
worthy of the most devoted love. Our children were born. I 
doated on them. I confess that you would have been forgotten, 
Silena, utterly forgotten, but that sometimes, in spite of myself, 
t h e _t'he temper of my wife her habit of command forced me 
to recall your patient gentleness. [Siffhs.] Ah, well ! 
is perfect. 

Mrs. V. [Aside] What do I hear! 



56 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Van, [Brightening.] I hope you are not hurt at the frank 
avowal of my contentment ? 

Mrs. V. And you could be contented, knowing of the burden 
you left me to bear. 

Van. \_Astonished.~] Burden ! Our separation was your wish. 

Mrs. V. But the consequences. 

Van. What consequences ? 

Mrs. V. You forget our daughter. 

Van. [Jumping up.] Our daughter? 

Mrs. V. [ Wringing her hands.] Oh, Christopher ! Christo 
pher ! [Buries her head in her hands.] 

Van. [_Aside at L., keenly] This is some impostor, trying to 
blackmail. [Aloud.] Give me your arm, Silena. 

Mrs. V. [Rises and puts her arm in his. He draws it through 
and holds it securely.] Where do you want to take me ? Oh, 
you are squeezing me. 

Van. I am afraid of losing you come. [Moves, L.] 

Mrs. V. But where to ? 

Van. To that little office just over there, where you see sev 
eral police officers. They will be most happy to make your ac 
quaintance, you impostor ! 

Mrs. V. Impostor! 

Van. Yes ! You are not Silena Summers a woman as spot 
less, as stainless as snow, who joined the purity of womanhood to 
the talents of a man, and the courage of a hero. No no, so just 
come with me. 

Mrs. V. [Struggling.] Oh ! sir ! please let me go. 

Van. [Stopping.] I will let you go on one condition. Take 
off your mask. 

Mrs. V. Never! 

Van. I intend to know with whom I have the pleasure of 
conversing, here or at the office. 

Mrs. V. [Threateningly.] Don't pull me, sir, or I will cry 
fire. Do you want to create a disturbance ? 

Van. No, I only wish to know who you are. 

Mrs. V. [In frenzy.] Let me go, or I'll do something dread 
ful ! 

Van. [Struggling with her.] You've done all the dreadful 
you're likely to do for a long time. If some one would come ? 

TOM enters, R. 

My dear sir, come here. 

Tom. [R.] What is it ? What ! trying to detain a lady 
against her will ? You are going too far, even for a masquerade. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 57 

Mrs. V. [c.] Yes, that's what he's doing. 

Van. This is no masquerade affair, my friend. [Laughs.] 
It's a masked battery I've taken by assault. 

Tom. I don't understand. 

Van. Will you get me an officer ? 

Tom. Is it possible ! 

Van. Or will you do me the favor to hold this person till I 
get one ? The peace of my future life depends on my seeing her 
face. Hold her till I get back, and I'll do anything you ask. 

Tom. Anything I ask ? 

Van. Yes. You have my word. 

Tom. Hand her over. 

Van. Take hold so so [Transfers the imprisoned arm 
to Tom.~\ But hold tight, or she'll get away. Now, my interest 
ing domino, we'll invoke the aid of the authorities to investigate 
you and your "daughter." [Exits, L.] 

Mrs. V. [To Tom.~\ Oh, sir, I pray I entreat you, let me 
go before he gets back. 

Tom. Didn't you just hear me promise to do nothing of the 
kind? 

Mrs. V. The peace of ray future life depends upon it. 

Tom. So does his. The peace of one future life is as good as 
the peace of another future life. So I think that I'd better leave 
things in statu quo. 

Mrs. V. I'll scream. I'll faint. 

Tom. Faint by all means. We'll see your face, then. 

Mrs. V. You are a monster. 

Tom. [Struck.'] Your voice sounds very familiar. Have I 
ever done business for you ? 

Mrs. V. Oh ! you know me very well. 

Tom. Do I what was it shoplifting blackmailing per 
jury? 

Mrs. V. What in Heaven's name do you take me for ? 

Tom. Not guilty, of course. Do you know that I begin to 
feel quite an interest 

Mrs. V. Give me some proof of it. Release me. 

Tom. Show me your face tell me everything, then, perhaps, 
I can do something. 

Mrs. V. I consent, but in the strictest confidence. [ Unmasks.] 

Tom. [Starts, and aside.'] The alleged widow ! And engaged 
in an altercation with her alleged deceased husband. 

Mrs. V. Well ! 

Tom. [Aside.'] If I let her go, he'll be furious. If I don't, 
she'll be furious. Either way I make an enemy. And I want 
that alleged daughter. [Aloud.'] What was the disturbance 
about ? perhaps 



58 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

. Mrs. y. I cannot explain. But if my husband discovers me 
I am lost. He will never forgive my suspicion and my attempt 
to impose on him. Let me go and you may rely on my life-long 
gratitude. [Music.] 

Tom. Madam, I'll venture my happiness on a single word. 
I love your daughter. 

Mrs. V. Let me go and we'll see. 

Tom. May I count on your assistance ? 

Mrs. V. You may 

Tom. [Rapidly, and looking off, c.] She is coming now. Will 
you leave me here with her alone ? 

Mrs. V. [Joyfully."] With the greatest pleasure. 

Tom. You are free. 

Mrs. F. [Masking.'] Was ever anything so fortunate. [Hur 
ries off, R. 1 E.] 

DOSIE enters, mask in hand, L. 

Dosie. I cannot find Nicholas. Once I thought I saw him in 
a secluded corner drinking from a champagne bottle in company 
with a person in blue clothes ; but it must have been fancy. [Sees 
Tom and masks.] That young man again. 

Tom. [ Goes to her, clasps her waist and hand.] My own ! 
[Brings her down] Don't avoid me. [Overcomes her faint 
struggles.] We must talk together earnestly and seriously, for 
our union is no longer a matter of doubt if you but consent. 

Dosie. Heavens ! 

Tom. [Leads her to seat, c., sit] Listen to me. 

Dosie. [Aside] Oh, Nicholas ! where are you? 

Tom. You must be mine. 

Dosie. No ! No ! 

Tom. Don't be frightened. I am not so bad. To offset the 
few faults we share in common, I have good nature, good temper, 
sincerity, devotion, tenderness, a loving heart aud a thoroughly 
good disposition. These are little ; but add passsion, the adora 
tion I feel for you, and it is no unworthy homage I lay at your 
feet. 

Dosie. [Aside] He loves me. I am sure of it. 

Tom. I have the best reasons for believing your family will 
not oppose our union. It is for you to whisper to breathe to 
look that yes I long for. 

Dosie. Oh ! spare me. 

Tom. Your answer, dearest! 

Dosie. Impossible. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 59 

Tom. You cannot speak. Then give me a token, a sign that 
you feel for me, that you pity me. 

Dosie. [ Gives him her white rose.] Here ! 
Tom. Emblem of your freshness and innocence ! 
Dosie. [Suddenly, throws her arms around him.~\ Oh ! 
Tom. My own forever ! [ Clasps her in his arms.'] 

VANDUSEN, GEAGLE and SERGEANT OF POLICE enter, 
L. u. E. 

Vandusen. Just look how he has to hold her. 

Geagle. [Pretty tight.'] That's right, Blackstone, hold her 
tight. You don't get such a prize every day. What a thoroughly 
wicked-looking person she is even under that disguise. 

Dosie. [Aside and steps forward] Geagle here! What will 
he say ? [Falls back on seat.] 

Van. [Alarmed ] Hold her ! 

Geagle. [Springs at her.] Would you? [Turns up his cuffs] 

Tom. [ To Van.] Don't be alarmed. This lady will not run 
away. 

Sergeant. [L., to Van] What do you want me to do? 

Van. I wish the lady to unmask. I must know who she is, 
because she has ventured to make an accusation as false as it is 
insulting. 

Dosie. [Astonished.] I ? 

Tom. [To Van] It was all a joke. 

Van. [Crosses to c] I don't take such jokes. 

Geagle. [Slaps Van.'s shoulder] I approve my friend Van- 
dusen's course. We want the facts. 

Van. [ Testily] Yes yes 

Geagle. [Irrepressible.] If our friend, Vandusen, has been 
doing anything, we shall be glad to know it. If the lady- 
Fan. [Same, trying to stop him] I've said all that. 

Geagle. [Same] We want the truth the whole truth that 
is to say, not too much truth but just enough. 

Tom. The lady is known to us all. I beg you to desist from 
your demand. 

Van. [Firmly] Let her take off her mask. 

KIT enters, R., and SILENA, mask in hand, appears, L., and listens. 

Tom. She shall not take it off. This lady is my affianced 
wife. 

Silena. [Aside] His affianced? Good heavens ! 



60 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Van. A subterfuge to shield her. You are not goiug to 
marry a person of that description ? 

Geagle. I don't know, he might. 

Tom. Well, then, I declare solemnly in the presence of these 
witnesses [pointing to Geagle and Kit] that I intend to marry 
this lady. And I ask you to treat her with becoming respect. 

Geagle. Show us her face and we'll show her respect. 

Tom. You shall all see it. But I must beg you to dispense 
with the presence of this gentleman [indicates Serg.~\, as I don't 
perceive the necessity of announcing my engagement to the 
police department. 

Van. I am satisfied. [To Serg] You see I have gained my 
point without the need of troubling you. 

Serg. [L.] So much the better. {Bows to Dosie and exits, L. 

U. E.] 

Tom. [Leads Dosie to Van.~\ Show this gentleman your face. 
[ Aside to her] Fear nothing ! [DosiE takes off her mask, so as 
to show only Van. her face, then replaces it.~] 

Van. [Nearly speechless.] Good gracious ! And you say you 
propose to marry this lady ? 

Tom. I do, sir. And if you have any objections to make, I 
would remind you 

Van. Not the slightest. [Grasping Tom's hand.] I con 
gratulate you. [Shakes hands and goes up, L.] 

Tom. Thank you. [ To Dosie.] Now show the witnesses, my 
darling. [DosiE, same business with Kit, R.] 

Kit. [ Astonished.] What ? Impossible ! [ Goes up to Sil] 

Tom. No, sir ! Quite possible ! 

Dosie. [Same business with Geagle, L.] Forgive me ! [Aside 
to him] I can't marry you I love him. You are free. [Re- 
masks] 

Geagle. [Thunderstruck] It can't be ! [Growing joyful, and 
to Tom] You don't mean it ? Let me embrace you. [DosiE 
half turns to him] No, no ! not you. You, Blackstone, you 
my benefactor. [Throws himself on Tom, who turns and flings 
him against Kit, who turns and throws him sitting on stairs, K.] 

Tom. I do not exactly comprehend your raptures, sir. But 
I accept your felicitations. [Takes Dosie by the hand] 

Sil. [Approaching, indignantly] Accept mine also. 

Tom. [Staring at her, open-mouthed] Wha what 

Sil. [ Tears yellow roses off and flings them at his feet] Base ! 
False ! Heartless ! I hate I despise you. [ Crosses to Van., L.] 

Tom. Silena ! [Turns to Dosie] What have I got here? 
[DosiE tears off her mask] 

Tom. [ With a cry] Ah ! 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 61 

Dosie. Thine forever ! [Throws herself on Tom. He struggles 
free, totters, and falls in Geagle's arms.'] 

Geagle. [ With a shout of joy. ~] Look up ! 



CURTAIN. 



ACT IV. 

SCENE. Same as first Act. The morning after the ball. Music. 
MR. VANDUSEN discovered walking up and down. 

Vandusen. My wife, who stayed at home last night, has got 
a headache this morning. Her sister, who went to the ball, is as 
fresh as a daisy. That's very odd. As for myself, I'm all at sea. 
Mr. Thomas Versus, attorney-at-law, has played me false, that's 
certain. Dosie was not the female I gave into his custody. I've 
questioned her adroitly and she's perfectly innocent. All she 
thinks about is that young scamp. Now, what on earth possessed 
him, with an aged mother at home to steal Geagle's bride. He 
must be mad. There is one bright spot in the whole dark pic 
ture, though. Nicholas is happy. Ah ! he's had a narrow 
escape. [ Front door bell.'} Callers so early ? 

CAROLINE enters, R. 1 E., crosses to exit c., sees Van., stops, and 

familiarly. 

Caroline. Lor', sir ! Is that you ? 

Van. [Surprised.] Yes, Caroline. 

Car. Did you have a nice time at the ball, sir ? 

Van. I cannot complain. 

Car. I guess they bothered you some, them ladies in masks. 
They always goes for an old gentleman as looks as if he was 
green. 

Van. Indeed ! 

Car. [R.] Did you have auy mysterious adventures? 

Van. [Stopping her as she is about to cross.] What do you 
know about mysterious adventures? 

Car. [Confused, crosses to L.] Oh, I know what they do at 
masquerades. [Aside.'] I almost let out on Missus. 

Van. Just explain a little more definitely what you mean. 



62 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Car. [ Going.] Some one at the door, sir. I must be going. 
[Aside, going. ] I'll keep out of his way the rest of the day. 
[Exits, c., on a run] 

Van. What did she say about mysterious adventures ? Can 
she be an accomplice of the unknown criminal ? 

CAROLINE re-enters, c. L. 
Caroline. Please walk in, Miss. 

MARY FORREST enters, c. L. 

I'll see if Mrs. Vandusen can receive you. She's got a dread 
ful headache. \_To Van.~\ Young lady to see Missus. [Rapidly, 
and going, R.] 

Van. Caroline 

Car. [Going.'} Yes, sir directly! [J.sic?e.] Not if I knows 
it. [Exits, R.j 

Van. [Taking out his glasses.] Pray, be seated, madam. 

Mary. [Sits, L.] Thank you. 

Van. [Looks at her.] Why, bless my heart, Miss Forrest ! 
[ Goes to her and insists on shaking hands with her] It does me 
good to see you. I was going to call on you this very day. Now, 
say that you forgive me, that you forgive my son, and that you 
are going to marry him, like an angel. [She is about to speak] 
Now don't say a word if it isn't yes. But of course it's yes. You 
came to tell him of course. That's why you are here. Why 
didn't I think of that. 

Mary. If you thought a little more, Mr. Vandusen, you 
might remember that the girl has gone for your wife. I came to 
see her. / 

Van. She's in bed with a headache. Let me send for Kit ; 
he'll do every bit as well. 

Mary. [Rising.] In that case I can leave this letter for Mrs. 
Vandusen. Will you be kind enough to give it to her ? 

Van. [Takes unsealed letter and turns it over.] A letter. 
What's it about? 

Mary. [Smiles] No doubt, Mrs. Vandusen will tell you. It 
refers to a subject we discussed when she called on me. 

Van. Called on you ? 

Mary. A short time ago. 

Van. What for? 

Mary. About Silena Summers. [Crosses to R.] 

Van. [Slowly dropping in chair and looking at her] I beg 
you'll sk down and discuss it with me for a few moments. I'm 
exceedingly interested in the topic. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 63 

Mary. [Smiling, sits.'] As much so as your wife ? 

Van. [Pre-occupied.] As much so as my wife. There is a 
faint glimmering of light on the mystery of last night. [To Mary.'] 
Did she talk about Silena's 

Mary. Silena's mother? Yes. 

Van. No! Silena's daughter. 

Mary. Silena is the daughter. 

Van. [Puzzled] Then who is the mother ? 

Mary. Oh, we know that well enough. The only question 
was who was her father ? 

Van. Ah ! 

Mary. You see there were two 

Van. Two fathers. 

Mary. No, mothers. Silena, the daughter, and Silena, the 
mother. Both named Summers. That, of course, was mys 
terious. 

Van. Of course, Silena's daughter ought to be Silena some 
thing else. 

Mary. This gave Mrs. Vandusen a most uncomfortable idea. 
She began to fancy she knew the mysterious parent and that her 
own happiness was at stake. 

Van. [Smiles.] It begins to dawn. 

Mary. Her suspicions were so hurtful to Silena and her 
mother and you that I took the liberty of writing to my 
friend on the subject. 

Van. Very proper. 

Mary. There is her answer. 

Van. From Silena ? 

Mary. The daughter. 

Van. [Rising, reads.] "Your question was very natural. 
My real name is Silena Howard. Poor papa was stricken down 
in health and in fortune at the same moment, and when I saw 
myself forced to teach in order to support us all, it was at 
mother's suggestion I adopted her maiden name to spare papa, 
who is as proud as he is helpless, all the pain we could. That 
is my little romance." 

Mary. You see? 

Van. [Folds letter, crosses to R.] So, Silena married ? That 
spoils my little romance. I wasn't constant to her image, ex 
actly. But I liked to fancy she was constant to mine. 

Mary. [L.] The selfishness of the sex. 

Van. Ah ! we're a bad lot, Miss Forrest all of us. 

Mary. Not even excepting your son. 

Van. [ Warmly.] Now let me explain. He 

Mary. Give the letter to your wife as soon as possible. I'm 
quite sure it will cure her headache. 



64 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Van. So am I. [Mysteriously] You don't know the ex 
tremities to which her jealousy led her. It's broad daylight now. 
The mysterious mask the blackmailer! Who would have be 
lieved a woman of her years would have played such a prank. 
[Changes his tone] Poor thing! how she must have suffered, 
though. [Seizing Mary's hands.] This news will make her 
happy. [Pleading.] Oh ! if you'd only make Kit happy. 

Mary. > [Disengaging.] This is happiness enough for one day. 

Van. I will call on you to-morrow with my wife. We will 

Mary. I leave the city to-day. [Crosses to R.] 

Van. We'll call this afternoon. Where are you going ? 

Mary. I have not settled. 

Van. Give me some message for Kit. What shall I say to 
him? 

Mary. [Moved.] Tell him that I said good-bye ! [Hur 
ries off, c] 

Van. Obstinate little thing. The whole race of young people 
of to-day are like little pigs, with kinks in their heads as well as 
in their tails. [Looks at letter and smiles.] Oh, Georgiana! 
Georgiana ! was it you ? Have I got you ? Won't I be revenged ! 
won't I ! We have been married twenty-five years, and to-day I 
am for the first time master of the situation. [Rubs his hands 
and crosses] 

CAROLINE looks in, R., and, seeing him, darts across to c. to go out. 
She carries a bundle. 

Van. [ Calling sternly] Here, girl ! 

Caroline. [ Turning at c] Sir ! 

Van. Humph ! What have you got in that bundle ? 

Car. This, sir ? This this is the Vienna bread the baker 
has just left for breakfast. 

Van. By the way what is your name ? 

Car. [Flippantly] My name ? my name is Caroline. 

Van. [Solemnly] Well, then, Caroline, I want you to tell 
me the truth as master of this house. Did anything extraor 
dinary happen last night ? 

Car. [Comes down] Last night ? No, sir. Nothing at all. 

Van. When did my wife go to bed ? 

Car. Eleven o'clock, sir. 

Van. Was she sick then ? 

Car. Yes, sir. She had a headache. 

Van. Is that the truth ? 

Car. I never tells nothing but the truth. 

Van. Humph ! And what have you in that bundle? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 65 

Car. This this, sir this is the Vienna bread that the 
baker 

Van. Humph ! Yes. That will do. 

Car. [Flippantly, .] Can I go ? [ Crosses to c.] 

Van. Yes ! when your month is up. 

Car. What do you mean, sir ? 

Van. That you leave in a month. I don't tolerate untruthful 
persons in my family. 

Car.' [Excited, in loud tone.] Sir! [Drops bundle, domino 
rolls out.~\ Oh, sir! Please, sir! 

Van. Behave yourself! I have finished. In a month you 

go- 
Car. I'll tell Mrs. Vandusen this very minute. [ Crosses to R.] 
Van. You may if you wish. 

Car. This minute. I'll tell her everything. [Going R.] 
Van. Hurry up, then ! Hurry ! Here ! you'd better pick 
up your Vienna bread. [She picks up domino, and exits R. door.~\ 
My wife will be astonished! Well, it will do her good. 

GEAGLE enters, exceedingly gay in dress and manner bowteromly 
rushing to Van. and grasping his hand. 

Geagle. Ah ! old boy, how are you ? [R.] 

Van. [Surprised.] Geagle, is that you ? 

Geagle. No ! It's not I. It's somebody else. It's a trans 
mogrification. Slept last night for the first time in twelve 
months. Woke up this morning twenty years younger. Look 
at me. 

Van. New clothes? 

Geagle. My wedding suit. Wear 'em to-day because- it's the 
happiest day of my life. 

Van. My dear fellow, you ought to wear weeds. A jilted 
bridegroom 

Geagle. I find it my natural element. Life has been a mys 
tery to me for years. My eyes are opened. Nature smiles. 
Why ? I have passed through great grief to great joy. I shall 
never be able to repay that young man ! Never ! [ Crosses to L.] 

Van. The lawyer ? 

Geagle. He has saved me. He is an exceedingly promising 
young fellow, isn't he ? 

Van. I'm afraid he has promised too much, this time. 

Geagle. He got me out of my promise. 

Van. You had better go and thank him. 

Geagle. Oh! I shall, warmly ! I want as a particular favor 
to stand up with him, only I'm afraid when I hear her .give her- 
5 



66 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

self to somebody else for good, I'll swoon with joy. But I've 
sent him a token of my regard already. 

Van. Indeed ! 

Geagle. A cartload of tokens, in fact. He ! He ! He ! All 
the things I bought for her. I don't want 'em. He may have 
'ern. Good idea, eh ? 

Van. Excellent ! I say, Nicholas. [ Takes his arm.~\ What 
do you think will be the upshot of it all ? 

Geagle. Oh! He'll go on. 

Van. No, no ! He'll back out, somehow. 

Geagle. I don't think so. They say he's wild with delight. 
Runs about singing and dancing. House upset things upset. 
Says he wants to get married as soon as possible. [ Crosses to R.] 

Van. It's incredible ! 

Geagle. It is ! But it's providential for me. I've had my 
lesson. I'm done. I intend to find a nice young couple with a 
family, and adopt them. 

Van. That's an idea. Sensible and generous. Have you got 
a family in view? 

Geagle. Well, I've got the pieces they're like a Chinese 
puzzle. I must get them together, and then I'll be all right. 
I'm after one of the pieces, now. 

Van. Which one? 

Geagle. The young man. Where's Kit ? 

Van. What do you want with Kit ? 

Geagle. To adopt him. I intend to make him a proposition : 
Business is business. I've got sixty thousand dollars. They 
shall be yours. You are to marry somebody you love, and let 
me bring up the children. 

Van. Wonderful ! 

Geagle. [R.] Feasible, eh ? 

Van. Feasible and plausible. I've got the other piece of the 
puzzle. 

Geagle. The girl? 

Van. If you can put them together, you are the benefactor ol 
two young hearts. 

Geagle. I'll do it. When a man starts out to benefact his 
fellow-creatures, he frequently fails in the attempt, but when he 
starts put to benefit himself, it's wonderful how he succeeds. 
This is my happiness at stake. [Buttons up his coat.] I am 
going to do good to Geagle and I guess I'll do it. [Exits, c.] 

Van. He may manage. He's so happy, he'll infect every one. 
Nobody can stand such determined efforts to make them do what 
they want to. [Strikes his forehead.] But he don't know who 
she is, and I forgot to tell him. Of course he'll be back as soon 
as he remembers that he don't know. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 67 

CAROLINE enters, R., impudently. 

Caroline. Missus was very much surprised when I told her what 
you said. She's getting up now. And she'll be right down to 
interview you. 

Van. Don't forget when your month is up. 

Car. I don't care for what you say. [Crosses to L.I I'll go, 
if Mrs. Vandusen says so, and she says I'm to stay. [Exits, c.] 

Van. That's the extent of authority I've exercised for twenty- 
five years. The country demands a change. 

SILENA enters, L. door, her forehead tied up with handkerchief, 
groaning and leaning agaimt wall. 

Van. [Bringing her downJ] Why, my darling ! 

Silena. [Piteous tone.] Good morning, pa. 

Van. Are you ill ? 

Sil. I feel miserable. I didn't sleep all night, and my head 
is so dizzy, and my heart so heavy. [She speaks very feebly, 
her hand often wandering to her head!] 

Van. You've got the blues ! 

Sil. Perhaps. But that isn't what I came for. 

Van. What do you want, my love ? 

Sil. You must go to Mr. Versus, right away. 

Van. To Mr. Versus? 

SU. [Nestling to him.'] Certainly I'd go if I could, but 
I'm not able. The poor fellow is in a fearful state of embarrass 
ment, on account of getting hold of the wrong one, last night. 
[Hand to head.] 

Van. What wrong one ? 

Sil. He knew I was wearing a white rose in my black 
domino. So, to fool him, I changed flowers with Aunt, and that's 
the way he came to get hold of her. 

Van. So he intended to get hold of you ? 

SU. Certainly he's in love with me. 

Van. Very good, upon my word a nice piece of news! Sup 
pose your aunt won't let him off? 

Sil. Oh, she must! [Crosses to R.] 

Van. Yes, yes ! But suppose he's in love with her. 

SU. Don't talk nonsense, papa. 

Van. But I hear he's making preparatious for his wedding. 

SU. [Insisting.] With me ! 

Van. [Positively.] No ! with her. 

SU. You don't know anything, papa. Oh, how my head 
aches ! [ Throws herself on sofa, L.J 



68 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Van. I know that you played him a very bad trick made 
him look very foolish, besides leading him into what may prove 
a trap ; and if he don't get even, somehow, he's not 

CAROLINE at c. 

Caroline. Mr. Versus wants to see you, sir. [Exits, c.] 
Van. [To Sil.] I'll have him up now. Be reserved in 

your manner until we ascertain whether he wants you or your 

aunt. [She sits down, L.] 
Sil. Oh! dear! 

TOM VERSUS enters, c. L., and down R. 

Tom. Ah! Good morning, brother-in-law. How do you do 
this morning? [VAN., speechless, turns a glance of commiseration 
on Sil.~\ 

Tom. [ Crosses to c., looks at Sil. and approaches her.~] Ah ! 
Did our little niece sleep well after the ball ? 

Sil. [Bursts into tears and turns her back to him] 

Tom. [After looking at her turns to Van. and in declamatory 
tone] And she the goddess of my dreams has she risen from 
her slumbers? 

Van. [Looks at him open-mouthed, aside.] He's a fool. [Aloud 
to Tom.~\ If you mean my sister-in-law she's been up this two 
hours. 

Tom. Oh, lead me to her. 

Van. You want to see her ? 

Tom. I grudge every second that separates me ,from my love. 
[SiL. cries loudly. ~] 

Van. [Pats him on shoulder.'] Don't you cry, sonny. I'll 
have her here right away for you. [Goes L. and aside.'} He's 
having his revenge. [Exits, L. D. SIL. looks after her father, then 
goes to c. seat and sits, back to Tom.] 

Tom. [Leaning against mantel, looks at her a moment.'] Well, 
Cupid ! 

Sil. Whom do you call Cupid, sir ? 

Tom. What are you doing with that band over your eyes ? 

Sil. [ Tearing it off.] I've got a headache. 

Tom. [To himself aloud.] Oh, that she were here! 

Sil. [ Goes to him.~] You must not quite take me for a fool, 
Mr. Versus. 

Tom. [Astonished. ~\ What do you mean ? 

Sil. A person can be in love and not act as silly as you do. 

Tom. As I do ? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 69 

Sil. Yes and I tell you you don't love Aunt Dosie one bit. 

Tom. Not love my bride ? 

Sil. Ugh! She's your bride because you thought she was 
somebody else. 

Tom. You astonish me. 

Sil. [L.] I know everything. I'm sure I ought to if any 
body does, for I got up the foolish trick to change the roses. 
[Beginning to cry.] And I never would in this world if I'd 
known what would happen. Oh ! Mr. Versus ! Oh ! Tom ! 
What are we going to do about it ? 

Tom. So you arranged the plan by which I gained Miss 
Dosie. Accept my warmest thanks. [Crosses to R.] 

Sil. [In a rage] You are a detestable man but one thing 
I vow: no matter who asks me, never ! never ! to go to a masked 
ball again. [ Goes up L., crying.] 

MR. VANDUSEN enters, R., leading DOSIE by the hand. 

Tom. [Opens his arms a la Claude Melnotte] My love! my 
sun ! my star ! my Dosie. [DosiE with a shriek rushes to his em 
brace, and is folded in his arms. Tableau] 

Tom. My own ! 

Van. [Stepping up and tapping Tom on shoulder] I guess 
I'd better go, as I'm only in the way. If you want me I'll be in 
there. [Points to R. and exits, c. door] 

Sil. [Comes in front of them and savagely] And I guess I'd 
better go, since Aunt Dosie doesn't know any better than to go 
on with such actions before a child. If anybody wants me, I'm 
in here. [Exits, R. D.] 

Dosie. How they envy me. [About to throw her arms around 
his neck, he catches both] 

Tom. Now let's sit down and talk sensibly. 

Dosie. [A little taken aback] Yes ! [Ton pushes sofa for 
ward; they sit.] 

Tom. [R] Now listen to me. 

Dosie. Speak ! Do with me as you please. Mould me to 
your will. 

Tom. First we'll get married. , 

Dosie. Yes ! 

Tom. Then we leave the city. 

Dosie. For a wedding tour ? 

Tom. No, for good, I've disposed of everything belonging 
to me. 

Dosie. What for ? 

Tom. Above all, because the world will talk. This is no 



70 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

place for us. You were the betrothed of Geagle. Now you are 
mine. 

Dosie. I don't care what people say. [Rises.] 

Tom. I will defend you with my life, for I love you. [She is 
about to embrace him, he catches her hands and prevents her.] I 
am jealous of that love. My angel, let them utter one breath of 
slander and they die. [Crosses to L.] Do you want me to fill 
the city with tombstones? 

Dosie. [Crosses to R., aside.] How he loves me. [Aloud.'] 
Be it as you will, we will go hand in hand. 

Tom. [L.] To the end of the world literally for I have 
chosen my destination. We sail Saturday. I write for passports 
to-day. Give me your figures. 

Dosie. [R.] My figures? 

Tom. Your dates born so and so 

Dosie. [Rising.] Nonsense ! 

Tom, [Rising.] Nonsense ? 

Dosie. I'll look in the book it's down, of course. I don't 
know who put it, and I doubt if they knew. 

Tom. [ With ardor.] Send it to me and I'll send thee 

Dosie. [Same.] What, darling? 

Tom. [Changing tone.] A few necessary articles for our 
journey. [Changing back?] You'll not refuse them? 

Dosie. I cannot! 

Tom. [Changing.] With full instructions. [Changing.] 
For we must wander far, my love. [Changing.] And you 
must know what's before you. [Changing] And now farewell, 
my sweet. [Draws her to him.] One kiss [Pushes her slowly 
back.] No no it is too much. I must not take advantage of 
your youth and weakness. [Sighs' and rushes off, c. R. Meets 
VAN. at door, takes his arm and hurries him off, c. R.] 

Dosie. How he controls himself. What character, what 
firmness and he loves me to delirium. [Sinks in chair.] What 
could have possessed him to go where we have to get passports ? 
It's ridiculous to ask it [Rising], and I promised him to send 
the book. [Goes to desk, unlocks it and takes out small 12mo 
volume, thick, and in old binding, opens it carefully.] There it is. 
I never saw such ink for getting blacker and blacker every year. 
[Looks around, whispers] There's a fatality about it. First of 
June, eighteen hundred and thirty [Shuts book suddenly and 
gasps, looks around, reopens it and looks again.] 1830. I could 
make that three a five, but the whole date is written out in letters 
too. [Angrily.] But I won't have such a thing in existence. 
I won't. [Sees inkstand in desk, suddenly seizes it and pours it on 
page.] Now it's all gone accidentally, of course. [Calling.] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 71 

Caroline ! Caroline ! come here, I've spilled the ink ! Bring 
something to wipe it up ! Caroline ! Quick. 

CAROLINE enters, c., MR. VANDUSEN R., SILENA L. 

Caroline. What is it, ma'am ? 

Vandusen. Who cried out ? 

Silena. [Looks over her shoulder.] Oh, Aunt ! what is it ? 

Dosie. Look what I've done. Spilled the ink bottle all over 
the book. 

Car. [On her L.] Is it fresh ? Oh, we'll soon have that all 
right ! {Seizes the book and darts out, c., holding it at arm's length] 

Sil. How came you to have it open at the family register, 
aunty ? 

Dosie. I had just opened the book. 

Sil. [Mischievously] And the ink ' bottle flew over and 
blotted out all the dates, your birth among the rest. 

Van. Very curious coincidence. 

Dosie. What do you wish to insinuate, brother-in-law ? 

Van. That you were the accomplice of the ink bottle. 

Dosie. [Crosses to L.] Wait until I have a strong arm to 
defend me. 

Car. [Brings back page clean.] Here you are, Miss, clean as 
a whistle. The bleaching powder does it while the ink's fresh. 
You can read it like print now. Born the first of June, eighteen 
hundred and thirty 

Dosie. [Tearing book from her.] Girl! go about your busi 
ness. [Exits, R. door, CAR. gets L. corner, pretending to try. 
VAN. laughs.] 

Sil. [Wringing her hands] Eighteen hundred and thirty 
that's old enough to be his mother. [Exits, R.] 

Car. [Weeping] I did all for the best. 

Van. [Kindly] You did very well I am very pleased. 
You can remain when your month is up. 

Car. [Softened and* low, after looking at him] Thank you, 
sir. [Exits c., with her apron to her eyes] 

Van. [Goes to table] A great waste of ink, but enough left 
to write a note to Kit's sweetheart. That idiot, Geagle, won't 
find her. [Writes.] " My Dear Miss Forrest. I am sorry to 
say that I cannot deliver your farewell message to my son for tin- 
reason that [Continues to write a line more and addrew tin- 
envelope, after he is interrupted by 



72 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

GEAGLE, outside, shouting, c. L. 

Geigle. In yet I'll find him. \_He bounces in in a great 
heat, looks around sees Van, rushes to him drags him out of his 
chair, and stands on tip-toe to whisper in his ear.~\ 

Van. [Having heard him."] My very thought. Look here. 
[Hands letter. GEAGLE opens it, reads, cries aloud for joy ] 

Geagle. What ! Glorious ! 

Van. It'll do. 

Geagle. I'll bring her whoop ! [Seizes Van. and both waltz 
around to a lively air which they shout] 

MRS. VANDUSEN appears, K. 1 E., and stops astonished. GEAGLE 
releases Van., seizes his hat and rushes out<, c. L., with letter. 
VAN. leans against sofa, laughing quietly. 

Mrs. Vandusen. [A little faltering, but trying to assume her 
former command.] You are exceedingly gay, Mr. Vandusen ! 

Van. [ Quite self-possessed. Fanning himself] Oh, no glad 
to see you up, my dear. 

Mrs. V. Caroline has a very curious story to tell me. 

Van. It's nothing to the story she told me. I discharged her 
for it on the spot. I cannot tolerate lying. 

Mrs. V. [Amazed] Mr. Vandusen ! 

Van. Lying, my dear. She tried to deceive me about your 
absence last evening. She said you had not been out of the 
house. 

Mrs. V. [Frightened and half inarticulate. ] I was I w 
was 

Van. Of course you were out, and the unprincipled creature 
thought I knew nothing about it. Had the audacity, in fact, to 
suppose that you kept any secrets from me. It was an insult to 
me and a worse one to you. I acted on the impulse I felt as 
vour husband and the father of your children, and I dismissed 
her. 

Mrs. V. [Stammering.'} Perhaps she thought 

Van.- [Interrupting.] She thought you went to the masquer 
ade to watch me to play a part and to surprise the unworthy 
secret / was supposed to cherish. 

Mrts. V. [ Going to him with clasped hands] Christopher ! 

Van. [Still going on] She didn't know that I would have 
been the first to reveal everything to my wife, as well as the last 
to deceive her. She did not know that I carried [Taking Marys 
letter out] a proof that I longed for an opportunity to show you. 
[ Gives her the letter, which she opens and reads, crosses to E.] 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 73 

Mrs. V. [Having read.] What must you think of me ? 

Van So, of course, I had to punish her promptly and severely. 
But she has since given unmistakable proof that she is sorry for 
her fault, and if you ask me to forgive her, I shall do it gladly. 
For we will have but one thought and one will. 

Mrs. V. [Overpowered.] I have done wrong, and you are 
heaping coals of fire on my head. Pardon me, my dear hus 
band ! [Puts her arms round his neck.] 

Van. Do you forgive her, too ? 

CAROLINE enters, c. 

Caroline. If you please [Stops. MRS. V. about to withdraw 
from Van.'s arms, he detains her.] 

Van. [ To Mrs. V.] Stay a moment, I want her to see there 
is no quarrel no scandal in this house. [Releases her.~\ There, 
she has seen enough. [To Car] What is it? 

Car. If you please, sir, here's a big box come for Miss Dosie 
from Mr. Versus. 

Van. Bring it in, and then go and tell the lady. 

Car. This way ! My sakes, it's a whopper ! 

Two PORTERS enter with big chest. 

Porter. See here, how much further have we got to take 
this ? 

Car. Put it 'right down there. 

Porter. This is extry. Ain't included in the express charges. 

Car. Oh, ain't it? Well, you'd better go and get yer extry 
outer them as sent yer. [Shows Porters off, c., and exits, R. 1 E.] 

Mrs. V. A box from Mr. Versus for Dosie. Why, I thought 
that he and Silena 

Van. Never mind ; let him do as he likes he knows what 
he's about. 

DOSIE enters, R. 

Dosie. Where is it? [Sees Mrs. V.runs and kisses her.] 
Oh, sister, you don't know how happy I am ! 

Mrs. V. [Coldly.] I don't know anything at all, il 
What has become of Mr. Geagle? 

Dosie. [ Unfastening chest] Mr. Geagle is too sensible, at his 
time of life, to take a young wife. 

Mrs. V. I should have thought you were too sensible, at yoi 
time of life, to let a young man make a fool of you. 



74 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

Dosie. We'll see who's made a fool of. [ Opens chest.] Why 
it's full of all sorts of things. [ Takes out a box] What this 
a revolver ? [ Takes it out.] 

Van. A very sensible present. 

Dosie. For a bride ? 

Van. For a bride who has to shoot tigers in self-defence. 

Dosie. Shoot tigers where? 

Van. Where you are going. 

Dosie. [ Takes a bottle and reads label.] Poison ! 

Van. Poison. To take in order to escape a more painful 
death. 

Dosie. I wish you would explain and not joke. Do you know 
anything about all this? 

Van. I know everything about it. 

Dosie. [Draws out hammock] A hammock ! [Spreads it 
out.] 

Van. Your bed. 

Dosie. And this ? 

Van. Your blanket. You won't need any warmer bedclothes. 
[DosiE draws out a pair of Turkish trowsers, holds them up and 
shrieks.] 

Van. Your traveling suit. You are especially desired to 
begin wearing them immediately to get used to the sensation. 

Dosie. What is the meaning of all this nonsense ? 

Van. My dear sister-in-law, you are going to Africa on an 
exploring expedition to extend the discoveries of Stanley. Mr. 
Versus not only intends to explore the vicinity of Ubjibbeloola, 
but to settle among the natives and convert them. He will 
probably be made king. You, of course, will be queen. 

Dosie. \_Irritated] It's a very poor joke. ' 

Van. It would be if it were a joke. But his plans, although 
spiced with the adventurous, are exceedingly practical. You 
will conform to the customs of the country. As queen, you will 
be at the head of an extensive harem, or seraglio. You will find 
thirty-five female dresses of all sizes in the bottom of the chest. 

Dosie. [Slapping the things back into the trunk] I begin to 
think you have taken leave of your senses. 

Van. [Sighs] Poor Versus has taken leave of his his love 
has turned his brain. 

Dosie. [Decisively] Where is he ? 

Van. In my room writing farewell letters to a few friends. 

Dosie. [Goes to door, L., and pushes it open, calls] Mr. 
Versus, will you step here a moment. 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 75 

TOM enters, L., an Indian crown of feathers on his head and a few 
in his hand. 

Tom. My goddess calls me. 

Dosie. Just drop all those fancy names, and tell me plainly 
what all this means. [Points to chest .] 

Tom. Only a few necessary articles to begin with. By Jove ! 
I forgot, we shall require some canned tomatoes and some pre 
served peaches, and we want a bow string and a sack. [Hurries 
to L.] I must order them at once. 

Dosie. Stop. [He turns.~] You need not have taken these 
absurd means of letting me know that our union is distasteful. 

Tom. My angel 

Dosie. Do you expect me to believe all this stuif about 
Ubjibbeloola, or whatever it is. 

Tom. You said you'd follow me to the end of the earth, and 
I'm only going to the middle of it. 

Dosie. I said as many foolish things as you did. I ought to 
have known that your making love to me was meant for some one 
else. I know it now. But you need not have resorted to such 
very strong measures to undeceive me. If you had said it was 
a mistake, I'd have said well and good, we'll say no more about 
it. But you acted like well, no matter. You are free. You 
are free. [Bursts into tears and exits, R.] 

Van. I knew she had sense, and it's coming out at last. 

Tom. [Takes off his croivn, looks at it, and pitches it away.] 
She ought to have boxed my ears. 

Geagle. [Outside.] Run, I hear him. This way. 

MARY FORREST enters, followed by GEAGLE, who winks at every 
body in delight. 

Geagle. [Points to Van.] There he is ! 

Mary. [In great agitation.] For Heaven's sake, tell me 
what has happened ? 

Mrs. V. Happened, child? Happened to whom? 

Mary. To your son. Where is he? 

Mrs. V. My son ? 

Mary. Don't you know. Hasn't Mr. Vandusen told you yet. 

Mrs. V. [Frightened, crosses to Van] What has become of 
Kit ? I have not seen him to-day. 

Mary. [Gives her letter] Look! Your husband's message 
to me. 



76 NEEDLES AND PINS. 

GEAGLE enters at c. with KIT, restraining him. 

Mrs. V. \_Reads.~] "My Dear ' Miss Forrest : I am sorry to 
say that I cannot deliver your farewell message to my son, for 
the reason that I have a son no longer. Yours, C. Vandusen." 
[To Fan.] What does it mean ? You have a son no longer. 

Van. No, because , Geagle has adopted him. [GEAGLE re 
leases Kit, rushes down and dances a jig on box] Hurrah ! 

Kit. [Rushes to Mary. She is so overcome that her head sinks 
on his shoulder, and he has to put his arm around her waist.~\ 
You cannot deny it. You do love me. I may speak now. 
[Draws her to L.] 

Mary. I'm so glad you are not dead. [They go up.~] 

Tom. I suppose I'd better go. 

Geagle. No, you don't. [Runs to R., and calls] Silena. 
[Comes down.] She made a match for me on this very spot, and 
I mean to give her tit for tat. [ Crosses to R.] 

Silena. [ Outside, R. 1 E.] Papa ! 

Geagle. [ Goes to R.] There she is. 

SILENA appears, led by DOSIE, who is radiant. GEAGLE retreats 
in alarm to L. corner. SILENA goes over to Tom. 

Dosie. Let me present Mr. Versus with the bride he really 
wanted. 

Tom. [c.] Is it possible ? [ Takes Silena in his arms] 

Silena. You won't go to Africa now. 

Tom. [Holding her.~] No. It's quite warm enough here. 

Dosie. [R. 1 E., peeps across roguishly to Geagle. He glances 
timidly. She smiles. He is alarmed.] Ahem ! 

Geagle. [Aside] I don't like that. She can't mean to go 
for me again. 

Dosie. Are you very much blighted, Mr. Geagle ? 

Geagle. Frost-bitten to the core. 

Dosie. [Beckons to him] He ! he ! [GEAGLE shakes his head. 
She whispers] I want to speak to you. 

Geagle. Say it right out. 

Dosie. [Advancing a few steps] Come over. [He advances 
a step, then stops] I won't hurt you.' 

Geagle. Honor bright? 

Dosie. [Coming to c., GEAGLE also. Confidentially] We've 
been a couple of geese. 

Geagle. Yes ! 

Dosie. But we've come to our senses at last. 

Geagle. [Doubtfully] You are sure about yourself? 



NEEDLES AND PINS. 77 

Dosie. For a time I felt as if I were a girl again. Heigho ! 
It had all the freshness of May and the -balminess of June. 

Geagle. I know. It was our Indian summer a sort of warm 
spell late in the fall. 

Dosie. Poetic thought ! Ah ! {Sighs and casts loving eyes at 
him.] 

Geagle. Ah ! 

Sil. [Mischievously interrupting.] Needles and pins ! [DosiE 
and GEAGLE retreat to their respective corners. SIL. laughs. 
All laugh!] I didn't mean to frighten only to warn you. 

Tom. Oh ! hang it, darling. Remember, I'm just about to 
get married. Don't sing that old song. 

Van. No. Give us something a little more cheerful. 

Mrs. V. Let Mr. Geagle express his feelings. 

Mary. And Miss Dosie. 

Dosie. Not before everybody. 

Geagle. Oh, yes ! I don't mind. [Steps forward.'] 

Sil. Something poetical ! 

Mrs. V. Practical ! 

Van. Historical ! 

Mary. vEsthetical ! 

Kit. Musical ! 

Tom. Autobiographical ! 

Geagle. 

Hey diddle, diddle, the cat and the fiddle 
We wanted a late honeymoon ! 
But the merry dogs laughed to see such sport, 
And the Miss ran away with the Spoon I 

[Indicates Silena and Tom.] 



CURTAIN. 



UC SOUTHERN REGIONAL LIBRARY FACILITY 



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DATE DUE ** 1 


















































































































































GAYLORD 


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